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Students dish out winter gear

Left to right, DECA students Brooke Dahl, Shaylee Sokoloski and Melissa Toland hand bags of winter clothing to teacher Jenni Wolfe for distribution Friday at Northern Lights Elementary School. The high school students purchased winter clothing for 57 Superior elementary students with the proceeds of last week’s soup supper. (Maria Lockwood)

Maria Lockwood

They didn’t pull up in a sleigh, but Superior High School students brought bags full of goodies Friday to the boys and girls at Northern Lights Elementary School.

DECA, an association of marketing students, seniors dropped off winter gear to 57 students at three different elementary schools. Northern Lights was their first stop.

“Thank you very much,” said fifth grade teacher Julie Tersteeg. “After this week when it was so cold, it’s just very appreciated.”

The students raised $2,052 from a soup supper last week, with proceeds earmarked to fill winter clothing needs at Superior elementary schools.

“I just think it’s wonderful that these kids had such great support from other staff in our building, from parents, from community members,” said high school business teacher Heidi Wolbert who worked with the DECA students to coordinate the supper.

“It gives us a warm feeling inside,” said Abby Davidson, a senior.

The high school students then took the money and shopped for snow pants, hats, boots and other outerwear before distributing it Friday.

“I think this is wonderful,” said kindergarten teacher Danielle Heier. “It’s teaching kids, you know, to give. It helps us all.”

Often, teachers scramble to piece together items from closets to outfit kids in used clothes and mended snow pants so they can go out in the cold.

“To have something new that’s just for them that they can put their name on is wonderful,” said third grade teacher Mary Zastrow. “So thank you.”

The gift came at the perfect time for third graders at Northern Lights, who headed to the school forest for a field trip Monday.

The DECA students said they hope the soup supper tradition, part of their “Warmth for Winter” campaign, continues in future years.

Melissa Toland, one of the student coordinators, had a word of advice for next year’s chefs: Make more soup. The students got a flood of response from the community and actually ran out of soup. They are also kicking around the idea of creating a cookbook full of soup recipes to sell at the event.

DECA adviser Paul Zollver said the great response from the community reinforced the chapter’s philosophy, “If a lot of people give a little, it can make a big difference to someone in need.”