"You Can Two Can Workout" began 11 years ago and started with students bringing in 2 cans to use as hand weights for a workout class set to music.
The primary objective of the lesson was to teach our students that they could use canned goods as weights to strengthen their bodies and then donate those cans to a local food pantry to strengthen our community.
Since the program has evolved, the lesson objectives have expanded further than we imagined. Through the generosity of our students and their families, we receive thousands of cans each year and we use these cans along with a variety of manipulatives to build (or as we call it, "can"struct) miniature golf courses during the P.E. classes. This learning unit adds in components that include, STEM, team building and cooperation as well as golf fundamentals and etiquette.
In addition to learning service to the community at large, our students learn to serve one another. Our middle school students devote a significant portion of their class time to "can"structing mini golf courses for our younger Saints to play on during their PE time. These middle school students draw inspiration from our Heavenly Heroes Program, in which historical figures such as Helen Keller are highlighted.
The following quote from Helen Keller was featured in this lesson and one we refer to:
"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves" states Lisa DiGirolomo & Heidi Willett, Physical Education, 4th - 8th grades.
Through presentation and discussion, the students connected the inspirational work of Helen Keller to their own endeavors with the Food Drive. The middle school students discussed and connected how being involved in the "You Can Two Can" food collection drive help those who need our assistance and in by doing so helping us feel good about ourselves by doing service to others.
When the unit culminates, we sort and pack the cans by category and deliver it to the charity. We work with Food Link to determine what portion of the cans goes to which location. Food Link is a nonprofit organization that exists as a safety net for the working poor. They have become the last stop when traditional support programs fail or turn them away. No paperwork, no judgements, no rejections and no waiting.
Over the years, the volume of our donation is so large that Food Link is not able to process the entire donation at their main office on Riva Road. We take the cans to stock Food Link's satellite location which is the Bridge Church's Food Pantry. This pantry has a weekly food distribution program that happens for local residents in need each Thursday.
St. Mary’s Parish, a Catholic congregation served by the Redemptorist Order, includes St. Mary’s Church and St. John Neumann Mission Church. St. Mary's Elementary and High School located in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, serve students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Anchored in faith, rooted in tradition, and committed to excellence, our programs build lifelong learners who are servant leaders.