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PIE students make blessing bags to help those in need

By Special to The Eagle - | Feb 10, 2021

Jennifer Cann’s second-grade class at Pine Island Elementary pulled together to create 76 blessing bags for those in need. PHOTO PROVIDED


Principal Tom Millins of Pine Island Elementary School said “what makes PIE amazing is our teachers’ ability to teach lessons both in and out of the classroom.  One such example is a class project/initiative from Ms. Jennifer Cann’s second-grade classroom.”

“Over the Christmas holiday I saw on Facebook that someone was making blessing bags and keeping them in their cars until they saw a homeless person in need of food or other necessities,” Ms. Cann said. “This project really touched me and I felt this would be a great service project for my students. I talked to the class about this and they were super excited to start collecting items for our blessing bags. The kids got right to work and their generosity was amazing.

“Pine Island Realty stepped up as well and donated $100 to help in purchasing items for our bags,” she continued. “This money and the donations that the students came up with was enough to make 76 blessing bags. Each bag contained a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, wipes, a pair of socks, a water bottle and some snacks.

“The children were super excited to make these bags for people. We felt it was our way to give back to our island and others,” she added.

“Forty bags went to the Pine Island Community Church for their homeless pantry, 20 bags went to City Gate Church in Fort Myers to help the homeless in downtown Fort Myers and 16 bags went to Royal Palm Exceptional School in Fort Myers for students aged 4-22 years old. I would like to thank all the second graders and their families and Pine Island Realty for making this project a huge success!”

Millins said  “Ms. Cann’s excellence shines through each and every day in the classroom.  The blessing project is a perfect example of how she is making a difference in her classroom. When first hearing of the project I was so excited that her students would learn ‘real life’ situations focused on giving and empathy!  This program really hit home because 16 bags were donated to my wife’s school, Royal Palm Exceptional Center in Fort Myers.

“I am so proud of Ms. Cann and her students for creating such a worthwhile project for the students,” the principal added. “This is what makes PIE so special!”