Brian Graham, Ed.D.
Superintendent of SchoolsEmail: BrianGraham@gicsd.orgPhone: 773-8801Follow me on Twitter @BrianSGrahamFollow the District on Twitter @GrandIslandCSDNot on Twitter? Create an account here @twitter
Dear Grand Island Families:
As your superintendent, I am continuously inspired by the incredible contributions of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators, especially during the holiday season. This spirit of giving, combined with our Vikings Care initiative, exemplifies what makes our community extraordinary.
In our schools, the altruistic spirit shines brightly:
Sidway Elementary: Participated in the third annual Turkey Trot and a food drive, supporting local families in collaboration with the middle school’s Interact Club. Through community and family donations, 57 Sidway students were able to join the Interact Club and shop with middle school chaperones. All of the items were donated to the Neighbors Foundation and food pantry. Additionally, Lauren Stang and Missy Keem worked together in support of the Adopt Families for Christmas special project. This initiative allows faculty, staff, and private donors the opportunity to ensure families in need have food and essential items as well as presents for the holidays.
Kaegebein Elementary: Engaged in the Neighbors Foundation Food Drive, Salvation Army bell-ringing, and book collections for the Boys and Girls Club. In December, Kaegebein students also made placemats for FeedMore Western New York. In the spring, Kaegebein will partner with the annual Rotary Undie Sunday, and the Buffalo City Mission for a toiletry collection for those in need. The Kaegebein faculty and staff participate in a monthly dress down collection for various charities such as the SPCA, Hospice, SABAH, and other great organizations throughout the school year.
Huth Road Elementary: Supported the Turkey Trot project, hosted holiday concerts, and contributed to the Neighbors Foundation. The PTA organized a holiday gift shop and a Family Fun Night. The Huth Road Elementary Select Chorus traveled to Grand Island’s Golden Age Center. Their band and orchestra ensembles had wonderful performances. They were very excited to share holiday songs, which brought joy and spirit to the audience before their annual holiday luncheon. Additionally, Huth students contributed many food items that were collected by their Early Act club. These food items were boxed and shipped to the Neighbors Foundation to support families in need. The Huth Road PTA organized a holiday gift shop that their students really enjoyed. Huth Road recently held their annual Family Fun Night. There were many families that attended this special event to have some fun.
Veronica Connor Middle School: Students made blankets for homeless shelters and organized a gift drive for peers. The Interact Club led a peanut butter and jelly collection and a large-scale food drive. Megan Gaiek and her students are making blankets to give to homeless shelters in Erie County. Anne Henneberger, a cleaner in our district, also made blankets for this project. The students at VCMS organized a gift drive to specifically benefit their peers. Prior to Thanksgiving, the middle school Interact Club collected peanut butter and jelly to benefit the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation. This year, for every nonperishable food item a student donated to the annual Neighbors Foundation Food Drive, they were entered in a drawing to become a Food Drive VIP. Students at VCMS and Sidway could also earn VIP status by collecting $100 in pledges. Food Drive VIPS were the students selected to go on a field trip to Tops Friendly Market to shop for more than $7,500 of food to benefit families right here on Grand Island. Altogether, 89 students from VCMS and Sidway were able to go shopping as part of this hands-on service project
Grand Island High School: Collaborated on sending care packages to troops in the military and organized a food drive. The Madrigals performed neighborhood caroling. The Social Studies Department and our Interact Club teamed up to raise funds and collect donation items to send Christmas cards and care packages to a military troop currently deployed to Iraq. Student Council, Interact Club, and DECA also partnered to collect monetary donations and run a canned/boxed food drive to benefit the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation. They collected nonperishable food items and sponsored a “hat day” to collect monetary donations.
As we reflect on these efforts, it’s evident how fortunate we are to be part of a community that prioritizes kindness and service. Your influence on our students is invaluable, fostering a culture of compassion and giving.
Brian Graham, Ed.D.