Tasty service

SE fourth-grade students do good deeds for Lent

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Fort Dodge firefighter Dan Summers helps load the evening meal a group of St. Edmond Elementary School students prepared for their shift as part of an ongoing series of service projects they’re doing to honor the Lent season.

The Fort Dodge firefighters got to enjoy a nice home cooked meal Friday evening — chili, cinnamon rolls, salad and even shredded cheese — the works.

The meal was courtesy of the fourth-grade students in Cindy Pavik’s class at St. Edmond Elementary School. It was prepared as one of several random acts of kindness to honor the Lent season.

“We decided instead of giving something up,” she said. “We would reach out in kindness.”

The chili supper was prepared by the class members’ parents — with a little help from the students.

Jonah Carlson, 10, helped prepare a salad.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Fort Dodge firefighter Dan Summers, at left, along with probationary firefighter Kyle Porter unfurl the poster the fourth-grade students in Cindy Pavik’s St. Edmond Elementary School class made to go along with the evening meal they prepared for them to enjoy at the station.

“I dumped the ingredients in and helped mix them,” he said.

Brooklyn Borer, 10, helped create the chili.

“I just dumped the stuff in,” she said.

Kiani Schmitz, 10, had an important job. Her family provided several gallons of premixed punch.

“I picked the punch,” she said. “If one of them doesn’t like the red they can have the other kind or the lemonade.”

Pavik got in on the cooking, too.

“I did the Rice Krispie bars,” she said.

Firefighter Dan Summers and probationary firefighter Kyle Porter arrived at the school in Engine 4 to pick up the meal.

Carlson had a message of thanks for them.

“It’s because you guys go out almost every day and save people from fires,” he said.

The class has also completed several other projects that give to the community.

The students collected everything a parent might need to help celebrate a child’s birthday including cake mix, frosting, candles, party favors, plates, napkins and cups. The materials are then placed in festive bags.

“Sometimes children may not have a birthday cake or a party,” Pavik said.

Those birthday party kits will be distributed through Upper Des Moines Opportunity.

“As of now we have enough for seven children.” she said.

They also collected new stuffed animals that will be donated to the pediatric units at area hospitals.

Borer said it will help the children.

“The hospital are a really scary place for kids,” she said. “They think ‘Who’s that big person in the coat,’ they get really scared.”

The students have one more act of kindness that they will complete next week.

“We’re making a meal for the Beacon of Hope,” Pavik said.

She said their projects offer an important life long lesson for her students.

“If you can teach them to care about other people,” she said. “You’ve won the ballgame.”