ALBANY, Ga. -- It's never too early to learn the value of community service.
Over the course of two months, the K Kids Club at Magnolia Elementary School coordinated a canned food drive -- the results of which were collected for distribution Wednesday.
While a count had not been finished by Wednesday afternoon, the collection in the school's cafeteria looked to include dozens and dozens of food items.
"The children ran it (the food drive) themselves, learned about civic activities and all that is involved in running a civic organization," said Gene Goldsmith of the Golden K Club, which supports the K Kids Club. "We asked what kind of project they wanted to do, and they said they wanted to do a canned food drive."
The club was promised an ice cream party for the class that collected the most food. This was eventually expanded to include everyone in the school, including Magnolia's staff.
This is the first year the K Kids Club has been in existence at Magnolia Elementary. The club was established in September
The food drive began in March.
"(The food drive) starts them on community service," Goldsmith said. "They gain a real feeling for people, and at this age, they see the need for helping someone less advantaged than they are.
"We will look forward to doing this next year."
Half of the goods donated will go to the Lord's Pantry, while the other half will go to Neighbors in Need.
In addition, the Kiwanis Club is expected to pull together two baskets for needy families in the area to be delivered in the coming days.
Sandy Sledge, the parent liaison for Magnolia, saw a noticeable impact on the student body overall as a result of the effort.
"The impact we've seen is that their leadership skills have come to life," she said.
The club has a total of 10 members who are currently in the fourth and fifth grades.
One of them is Nigel Walton, the club's president.
"I have learned that it is important to help people," the fifth-grader said. "It has opened my eyes to the importance of helping people.
"It has changed our school."