They may be young, but the students in the Peanut Butter and Jelly Club at Assumption Regional Catholic School in Galloway Township already know the importance of doing good deeds.
Ranging in age from kindergartners to fifth-graders, students gathered in the cafeteria for the first time this school year to put together the lunchtime staple for those at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.
"It is very nice that even at this age students want to give back to the community," said parent volunteer Mary Kate Pedano, who coordinates the club along with Janie Jordal, another parent volunteer from Galloway Township.
Pedano's three children, who are in kindergarten, fourth and sixth grades, all belong to the PB&J Club, as does Jordal's fifth-grade daughter.
The two mothers noticed that the older children serve as role models to the younger ones.
"We do a lot of outreach projects at the school, and the students realize that there are people who are less fortunate and don't have enough to eat," said Pedano, who lives in Mays Landing. "This is something that is very hands on and they feel good about doing."
The PB&J Club at Assumption first organized last year under the guidance of two faculty members. Pedano said when coordinators were needed to restart the club this year, she and Jordal were happy to step forward.
Outfitted in protective aprons and plastic food handler gloves, about 15 students met after school one recent afternoon to make sandwiches. In about 45 minutes, they had 157 baggie-wrapped sandwiches ready to be boxed and picked up for delivery.
"It was actually a good assembly line they had going. They all worked well together," Pedano said.
The ingredients were all donated by the students, and the club gets a lot of support from school administration and parents.
The PB&J Club meets once a month to make sandwiches for the Rescue Mission. If interested in helping, contact Pedano at MKPedano@aol.com or Jordal at eric522@com
Contact Lucia C. Drake: