WE Fed Over the Holiday Break

During two chilly days of the week of Wednesday, December 14th, Nutrition Services staff, and volunteers, some of whom were dressed in holiday costumes, distributed boxed meals consisting of 10 breakfast and 10 lunches to families in the Colonial School District boundaries.  Over 3,500 students pre-registered for the meals which were available at no cost to children under the age of 18. Colonial Nutrition Services Supervisor Paula Angelucci said the pre-holiday meals were distributed because hunger never takes a vacation adding, “Our community families have been through a lot this year dealing with the COVID pandemic. Nutrition Services was thankful to be able to supply 10-day breakfast and lunch meal boxes so that families could have meals for their children over the winter break due to special USDA funding.”   At the end of the week, the Power of We distributed over 35,000 meals during the two- day event to continue helping parents however possible during this challenging time.  

Celebrating the Class of 2021

Click here to learn more about the seniors of the William Penn High School Class of 2021!

Holiday Highlights

While the holidays are over, the fun and goodwill that they brought to Colonial Nation remain in the hearts and minds of everyone. Many schools sponsored Adopt-A-Family programs that, because of the pandemic, were primarily made possible thanks to the generosity of the staff. McCullough was one of many schools where employees stepped up and shopped for gifts. Jennifer Goldsborough, a teacher at Gunning Bedford (GB)  headed up the annual gift-giving program as she has in the past at the school. Goldsborough, who began teaching at GB in 2001, grew up in the district where her mother worked as a paraprofessional and her grandmother as a nutrition services worker. She has fond memories of them supporting families in need saying, “because of these early experiences, I developed a sense of empathy and community that I can honestly attribute being a part of the Colonial School District for most of my life.  I’ve seen kindness and generosity extend beyond the classroom walls.” Usually, the staff at GB support one family in each grade, but with everyone working remotely, she worried that donations would fall short. Much to her delight, teachers, and staff donated $2,000; enough to help  14 people in three different families! “The families were beyond grateful, and in some cases moved to tears when they received their gifts. “I don’t even know what to say right now.  I wasn’t expecting this.  I…I…just can’t believe this is really happening,” one tearful mother told Goldsborough, “ You are all so kind!  Please tell everyone I said thank you and let them know that this is going to help us out so much this year.  Is there really $645.00 in there?”  Completely sobbing she continued, “I just don’t even know what to say, but please thank everyone for me. This means so much you just don’t even know.”  Goldsborough is equally grateful to everyone at GB who Cash Apped their donations to her saying. “This act of kindness shows that even during a pandemic, when the world seems like it’s been flipped upside down, the Power of We is real and it’s resilient!”

At Eisenberg,  members of the New Castle County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. not only participated in the Adopt-A-Family program but donated 10 coats with scarves and gloves for students. Aside from Adopt-A-Family programs, other schools like Southern and New Castle also held virtual  Ugly Sweater Days, others hosted virtual holiday parties and Santa even dropped off gifts to be sent to students at Leach, thanks to the staff who dressed for the occasion. Not to be forgotten is  Jim Zimmerman, William Penn’s Deputy Principal, who dressed as Santa and chatted virtually with the students in his wife Katie’s second-grade class at Wilmington Manor. In every school, in every way, the holidays were made more cheerful thanks to teachers and staff. Students of all ages were simply thrilled, and as usual,  Colonial Nation came through for students once again, kudos to all who helped!  

Tiana in the Spotlight Again!

Pleasantville 5th-grader Tiana Sirmans stayed busy over the holidays with her quest to be a junior celebrity reporter. Tiana, a former reporter for Times Kids Magazine and the youngest member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, landed two major online interviews. Her first was with rapper and actor Ludacris, the other with the producers of the Netflix Holiday hit movie “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story.” Click the link below to watch this incredible youngster at work!

A Tasty Way to Recycle

The goats at Penn Farm are getting a yummy holiday delight...Christmas trees! When the call went out for people to bring their live Christmas trees to William Penn for the goats to munch on them, Colonial Nation answered the call.  The trees are also used as wind protection for the chickens and geese. Thanks to all who contributed, the goats love the discarded trees!

Penn Farm is Still Making a Difference

Despite the pandemic, work continues at Penn Farm thanks to manager Toby Hagerott and nine students who participated in the New Castle County Summer Youth Employment Program. To date, Penn Farm has produced :

*18,500 pounds of produce
*200 bales of hay (100 were sold and the rest used to feed goats this winter)
*Generated $16,000 of revenue
*Grew more than 100 different varieties of 40 different vegetables grown on four acres
*Sold 3,000 pounds of products to local restaurants valued at $3,500
*Donated more than 1,000 pounds of produce to the Food Bank of Delaware and Colonial's Grab and Go Meal program
*Sold $2,300 of produce to two school farm stands this summer and fall.
Hagerott says, “The future is bright and we are already planning for a great 2021 season.”

Wildcats Inspired to Read by U.S. Serviceman

At Wilbur, Mrs. Kempner's  4th-grade class would like to thank Air Force officer, Staff Sergeant Jerome Rulewicz, who joined their book study session on The Big Friendly Giant. Since the book mentions the Air Force, Sgt. Rulewicz agreed to read the last chapter aloud and take questions from students! 

William Penn Student Takes Top Honors

Lun Kong, a sophomore at William Penn, recently placed in the top 25 in a national competition for Science Olympiad! The competition had hundreds of participants who all had one month to prepare for a weather competition. Lun worked very hard on this and he was the first to receive a medal from Delaware. Colonial Nation is proud of Lun Kong! 

Mask Up

Take a look at the social media campaign produced by William Penn students in our own WP Digital Media class. Great job, with great advice!
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