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Promoting Giving at Forestville

Forestville PTA donates Thanksgiving dinners to sister school in Herndon.

The Forestville Elementary PTA has collected more than 80 Thanksgiving Baskets this year for distribution to families in need at Dranesville Elementary in Herndon. The Annual Food drive is part of a 10 year partnership between the two "Sister Schools" and is a favorite Forestville seasonal tradition.

Deanna Keys is a Forestville mom that organized a basket for her daughters sixth grade class to donate. "I think it helps remind the Forestville students that just five miles away there are families that need the simple things we can take for granted," said Forestville room mom Deanna Keys.

Almost 40 percent of the student population at Dranesville receives free or reduced cost lunches. Eighty of those students also participate in the "Friday Back-Pack" program which provides food for weekends. The families of those students receive the Thanksgiving baskets full of goodies including all the fixings and a gift card for a turkey or other main course.

Forestville collects winter wear, toiletries and toys at other times throughout the year but the sister school relationship is reciprocal. "Dranesville does some amazing work," says Food Drive Committee Chair Sara Koenig. "Their kids save unopened food and fruit from their lunches and donate it to SHARE in Herndon. They shared that food preservation system with us, as well as a very effective recycling program. We’ve begun replicating those at Forestville this year."

"The Thanksgiving food drive teaches kids compassion," said Langley High School senior volunteer Connor Trenn.