Carsten Gerlack, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High, donates items to the school’s holiday food drive.

Carsten Gerlack, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High, donates items to the school’s holiday food drive.

Sherwood Park, AB. — Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) students and staff are spreading joy across the Division through a variety of charitable activities. Schools are holding food drives, hosting fundraisers and celebrating the season as they learn the value of giving back to their communities.

On December 1, F.R. Haythorne Junior High kickstarted their annual food drive with a wake-a-thon. Grade 9 students each brought in food bank donations as part of entry into the event and to give back to their community. At the wake-a-thon, students participated in various activities throughout the night and into the morning, including volleyball, badminton, karaoke, dancing and video games. A midnight pizza snack and morning breakfast helped keep the energy up and the enthusiasm going. Classes will continue to collect donations for the Strathcona Food Bank until December 20.

Carsten Gerlack, a Grade 9 student at F.R. Haythorne, had a wonderful time at the wake-a-thon. “My favourite part about the event was playing volleyball in the gym with my friends and having a pizza snack at midnight!”

Many of the other charity events throughout EIPS launched in November and are running throughout the month of December. In addition to concerts, some events of note include:

  • A.L. Horton Elementary collected items for the Vegreville Food Bank and Christmas Bureau as part of a 12 Days of Christmas Giving campaign. The school is also celebrating the season with various holiday dress-up days.
  • Ardrossan Elementary is decorating a Giving Tree this December. Each grade is collecting key items during the weeks leading up to the holidays to support the Strathcona Food Bank.
  • Ardrossan Junior Senior High has had a variety of 12 Days of Christmas events, courtesy of its student council. This includes spirit days, art activities and informational posts on a variety of cultural celebrations.
  • Brentwood Elementary has been hosting a clothing drive called “Toasty Heads, Toasty Hands and Toasty Toes.” The school is collecting new hats, gloves, mittens and socks for shelters in Alberta. To carry on the holiday spirit after December, the school will have a food drive in March.
  • Bruderheim School is taking part in United Way’s Make Your Mark program this year. United Way provides guidance and funding up to $1,000 to support student initiatives that help their communities. Bruderheim students will use the funds to create and sell crafts, donating the proceeds to the Lamont Food Bank. The school is also collecting donations for their annual Mitten Tree, which will be given to the Lamont Food Bank.
  • Davidson Creek Elementary and Mills Haven Elementary had a 12 Days of Christmas food drive, where students were encouraged to bring a needed item in each day for the Strathcona Food Bank. Last year, Davidson Creek collected more than 2076 pounds of food and would like to surpass that goal this December.
  • Fort Saskatchewan Christian held a food drive that finished December 8. Students brought nonperishable items to their classes, while families were encouraged to donate items when they came in for parent-teacher interviews.
  • Glen Allan Elementary had its 4th Annual Strathcona Food Bank Drive in November. A tradition at the school, students collected 772 pounds in donations.
  • Lakeland Ridge School is having a Kindergarten Christmas Celebration in its gym with a musical student performance, followed by crafts and snacks. The school is also raffling off the front row seats at its grades 1-6 concert—a portion of the proceeds will go to the Strathcona Food Bank.
  • Lamont Elementary had a cereal drive to support the Lamont Food Bank. On November 24, students were encouraged to bring in a box of cereal and all boxes were lined up around the school for a “Grand Domino Push.”
  • Wes Hosford Elementary collected items for its food drive at the end of the November. Students will also sing carols in the gym the week before Christmas break.

“All these activities are fantastic,” says Cathy Allen, the Board Chair at EIPS. “They act as a great way to bring schools and their surrounding communities together toward a common goal—students learn the importance of citizenship and gratitude while helping those in need.”

Details about individual school concerts and other holiday events have been shared with school families as details were finalized.


Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,750 students in 42 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.



For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902