Mindy Rubinlicht leads students in songs and dances about food.

Every year, Pennypack Elementary School hosts Acceptance Day with an emphasis on accepting others to create a community of appreciation and understanding. This year’s theme was “What’s On Your Plate?” which focused on the important role food plays in people’s lives. Food has the power to bring people together in celebration; however, it can also separate people due to a lack of exposure to diverse cultures. On January 17, Pennypack students talked, sang, danced and drew photos to celebrate food around the world and inspire acceptance. They learned about popular foods in other cultures, how poverty affects the food people eat, and food groups and servings.

Grade levels rotated through various stations including:

• “Food and Culture” by John Zuk, assistant principal at Hatboro-Horsham High School.
• “Songs About Food” by Mindy Rubinlicht, seventh and eighth grade chorus/select chorus instructor at Keith Valley Middle School.
• “School Lunches Around the World” by Melissa Spinosa, nutritionist and personal trainer at Johnson and Johnson.
• “What’s On Your Plate?” art activity facilitated by the high school’s Link Crew students.
• “Children’s Homes Around the World” by John Schumann, second grade teacher at Pennypack Elementary.
• “Poverty Here at Home” by Melissa Pierce, fifth grade teacher at Pennypack Elementary.

In the afternoon, the event wrapped up with an assembly led by fifth grade students, who recently visited Lehman Memorial Church in Hatboro to learn more about The Lehman Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. Students were shocked to discover that the pantry is assisting their neighbors and other community members they know, and wanted to help by starting a food drive at Pennypack Elementary. At the assembly, students announced a food drive, which will benefit local food pantries, with a majority benefiting Lehman’s Pantry.