A handful of Oldfield Middle School students boiled pound after pound of penne pasta on Nov. 25 in an effort to give back to families in need this holiday season. After draining the pasta, mixing it with ricotta cheese and tomato sauce, and baking it in the oven, the students made more than 4 pounds of baked ziti, which they donated to the local Family Service League.

The idea came from one of the school’s students, Eric Chavez, who made an appointment with Principal Joanne Giordano to share his vision of charity and generosity. His class worked alongside school administrators – including Joe Castoro, Marybeth Corr, Ms. Giordano and Dean Jeff Shade – who helped guide them through the process of making the holiday dishes. Christy Roxo, the school’s family and consumer science teacher, graciously shared her kitchens with the volunteers and teachers, including Jess Volpe, Susan Cove and Mary Catelli.

“Each student in our class impresses me more and more every day,” Ms. Volpe said. “We couldn't believe the talent these students displayed in the kitchen.”

After cooking and helping load the food onto the Family Service League truck, the students reflected on how it felt to donate to those who are less fortunate. “The reflections that were written almost brought me to tears,” Ms. Volpe added. “I am beyond proud of this group and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to watch them grow each day.”