Man, how can you afford to miss this garage sale?If you liked what you saw last year, this year should be just as good. If you missed last year, this is your chance.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
If you liked what you saw last year, this year should be just as good. If you missed last year, this is your chance.
Greenwood Elementary is holding the school’s second annual Great Greenwood Getaway from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the school gym.
At the GGG, you can expect to find books, toys, games, adults’ and kids’ clothes, jackets, coats, shoes, boots, along with miscellaneous (non-electronic) household items.
More than 600 shoppers were counted for the inaugural 2010 GGG.
Principal Nate Schurman said people were lined up early and waiting outside school doors or parked on the street in anticipation.
So, to accommodate the early birds, this year GGG’s 9 a.m. start is an hour earlier than last year’s.
Why the enthusiasm?
Garage sales and flea markets are always big draws. But for the GGG, all items found on tables and carts in the gym are free.
As the name of the event says, everything’s given away!
“This giveaway is open for anyone in our community,” Schurman said. “We’re hoping people who come and visit find something they might need or want.”
The GGG is part of the Greenwood’s service learning initiative that’s blended with the curriculum. Emphasis is on volunteering and giving back to your community.
According to Schurman: “The GGG is an annual event, but it’s efforts are supported by grade-level service projects that include filling backpacks weekly for needy students at the food shelf; growing vegetables in the school garden in the spring and summer, and donating them to the local food shelf; native plant restoration and trash pickup along the Kinnickinnic River; and a Buddies in Character mentoring program led by our 5th grade students and teachers meant to promote and support our nine character traits in our school.”
Schurman has been notified that the GGG has earned a National Promising Practices Award by the Character Education Partnership, a Washington D.C. nonprofit organization.
Schurman and others from the school district will receive the award during a national character education conference in San Francisco in mid-October. (Local expenses for the trip are covered by a grant.)
All things you’ll find at Saturday’s giveaway were brought in, sorted, marked and categorized by Greenwood students, parents, teachers and staff in the week leading up to the event.
The intent, Schurman says, is for the school to provide everything that those in the community may want at Saturday’s giveaway.
It’s all finally laid out and set up the day before — on Friday.
Last year, to start with, Greenwood had a truckload of merchandise. At the end of the Saturday giveaway only three carloads of goods remained.
Those were bagged and hauled to the Hudson Goodwill store. That will the plan again this year for leftovers.
Schurman senses there will be an even larger selection for the second GGG.
“We’ve been talking about this one for a year, so I think there’s more continuing awareness and probably more people who’ve been saving things around the house just for this occasion,” he said.
For the 2011 GGG, Schurman said volunteers will even work Thursday evening at the school collecting last-minute donations. The aim is to minimize late donations so that Friday can be devoted to as a “set-up day.”
In his application that resulted in the national award for the GGG, Schurman cited the benefits from the event:
“Students previously unaccustomed to thinking of others first have begun to develop the skill of empathy and compassion…(They) have begun to develop a sense of pride and excitement around giving, and although ‘getting’ is still a big piece of what makes elementary students tick, they are beginning to see that joy can be found on the other side of the coin.
“…Through our attempts to give back to the River Falls community, Greenwood
Elementary School has truly found itself on the receiving end, and, just like our visitors, it didn’t cost us a dime.”