Third grade student Keegan Breheny's interest in helping the homeless began well before she decided to join Ms. Mathew's FAB Lab of the same name.
"When I was very young, I was sick and my mom took me to go to lunch," Keegan remembered. "I saw a homeless person, and we were going to get food so my mom said 'why don't we give him food and some money?' So we did."
In a small group of students who decided to explore the needs of the homeless community in Charlottesville, Keegan spends a dedicated time period each rotation (FAB Lab) engaging in student-directed inquiry about the topic. She and her fellow group members invited a representative of PACEM, a grassroots organization that coordinates space and volunteers to provide shelters, to speak with them and decided that holding a donation drive would be one of the most efficient ways that they could help the area's homeless.
For Keegan, helping others is her favorite part of FAB Lab time though some of her other favorites at the School are P.E. classes and Girls on the Run. She enjoys spending time with her family, on the computer, and reading fiction after school. At the moment, she is deciding if Katherine Applegates' Crenshaw is her new favorite book.
"I really like St. Anne's-Belfield," she said, reflecting on her first few months at the School. "It's really fun, and I like everything we do in class."
Taking place Nov. 26 – Dec. 13, the FAB Lab group's donation drive will focus on items most needed by area shelters and organizations, and donations may be dropped off in Ms. Mathews' East Wing room. Desired items include:
- Coffee grounds
- Creamer packets
- Sugar packets
- Tea packets
- Hot chocolate packets
- New or gently used white towels
- New or gently used backpacks or duffle bags
- Cough drops
- Laundry detergent
- New socks
- New gloves
- New underwear
- Blank cards and envelopes
- Hand sanitizer