Delano educator teaches students the importance of giving back to the community

November 22, 2022 /

Johanna Felix has a passion for teaching and helping the community, so this year she combined both by starting a food drive. Felix has been a teacher for six years and this is her second year working at Almond Tree Middle School where she teaches 7th and 8th grade ELA, writing, and history. 

“This is my second year in the teacher induction program. This program requires me to create a project based on my teaching goals. This year I chose to reflect on teaching practice in support of student learning,” said Felix.

Since it is the season of giving, she thought it would be rewarding for students to learn about giving back to their community and how their involvement can make a difference for others even if it’s just bringing one can of food. 

“We are donating our items to the district office. We will then be combining items in our school gym and from there students from the POWER program will help sort out and box up the food baskets,” said Felix.

Felix believes getting the students involved in projects like these is important because students need to see the reality they are living in. She said it also makes them realize that they need to be more involved with their community and be aware of what goes around them. 

“I hope it teaches our students that it’s not always about receiving but about lending a helping hand, whether it is donating food to the community, opening the door for someone, or even donating their outgrown clothes,” said Felix. “I hope their kind actions impact them and the experience instills a sense of gratitude, kindness, and generosity.”

She also said this is an amazing opportunity because it’s more than just a project, it’s a lifelong lesson for the students and herself. 

“We get to work hard towards our class goal and be involved in the collection, counting, and assembling process. More of a hands-on experience instead of just donating,” said Felix.

With the holidays coming up, she said any family would benefit from the food baskets during these times. 

“We have a wide variety of foods being donated and we can’t wait to bless those families in need,” said Felix.

For Thanksgiving, Felix gets together with her family and they cook turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, corn, mac and cheese, and all covered in gravy.

“We watch football games, play games, eat again, and then we squeeze in desserts like pumpkin pie, cookies, cheesecakes, and pumpkin rolls,” said Felix. “The only tradition we have is that we always watch sports as a family while we gather and eat. This year we get to watch football and the World Cup.”

Felix enjoys the turkey with the mashed potatoes and gravy and all the other sides. Turkey for her is only once a year so it is nice to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

“My favorite part of Thanksgiving is gathering with family and seeing my kids and everyone around us happy,” said Felix.

Felix wishes that with the food drive project many families in her community can spend a great thanksgiving alongside their loved ones and she wants her students to know that they were a part of that.

“They need to see that not everyone has the means to afford a nice dinner during the holidays. The goal is to help out 120 families in the community of Delano. Let’s hope we can help even more with all the donations,” said Felix.