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Several North Trail Elementary School students took a few minutes to pose with the numerous toys they and their classmates donated for the 2012 Toys for Town drive. NTES students and staff donated 401 toys for Toys for Town, and over 1,600 food items for the Farmington Food Shelf.

NTES students collect gifts for Toys for Town

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'Tis the season for giving, and that was certainly not lost on North Trail Elementary School students.

In just two weeks, the students at North Trail donated 401 toys for Farmington's Toys for Town drive. Last week alone, they brought in more than 1,600 food items for the Farmington Food Shelf.

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NTES Parent-Teacher Partnership member Melissa Jones helped set up the food drive. Each day last week, students were asked to bring in different types of foods. One day was dedicated to canned goods, another to boxed goods, and so on.

Jones had set up the food drive as a contest of sorts, so the grade that collected the most food would get a prize. That reward goes to the third grade at North Trail, which brought in 376 items. The reward could come by way of something like an ice cream party or a popcorn party, Jones said.

"We really stress the importance of giving back to the community," Jones said. "The kids know they are very lucky to have what they have, and that not everybody is as lucky as they are. We want to take care of others."

The giving spirit was alive and well for the toy drive, too. With the goal of collecting 200 toys, a giving tree was set up in the school lobby, and kids, parents, and administrators brought in toys daily. On Friday morning, Farmington police sergeant Jim Murphy came to the school to collect the gifts - all 401 of them - during a school assembly.

"That was fantastic," Murphy said. "Their goal was 200 and they got 401, which is pretty spectacular for an elementary school to get that many toys."

Once the holiday season has come and gone, the lesson of giving to others will still be taught at North Trail, Jones said. The school typically holds four food drives over the course of a school year.

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard started covering the Farmington community in June, 1994. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the Farmington American Legion Auxiliary Unit 189, and acts as the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
(651) 460-6606
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