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Herkimer BOCES VP-TECH students support Stuff the Bus toy drive

Dec. 6, 2018



VP-TECH students hold up Stuff the Bus signs and pose in front of the bus for Stuff the Bus


Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School students pose in front of the bus for Stuff the Bus on Thursday, Dec. 6, after loading toys they helped collect at Herkimer BOCES. In back, from left: Connar Dibble, of West Canada Valley; Andrew Doolittle, of Dolgeville; Christopher Janis, of Frankfort-Schuyler; Brianna Holtz, of Central Valley; Rebecka Brewer, of Central Valley; Jenna Lyman, of Central Valley; Aurora Burdick, of Central Valley, and Keri Delaney, of Central Valley. In front: Aleksandr Kurganov, of Frankfort-Schuyler.





HERKIMER – Additional local children will be receiving presents this holiday season thanks to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students who helped organize a collection of toys to donate to Stuff the Bus.

Herkimer BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School students who were a member of the VP-TECH team at the recent Herkimer County Youth Summit ran the toy collection efforts under the guidance of Kenneth Ille, a Herkimer BOCES technical education mathematics teacher.

“Service to their community is a very important thing to learn in high school because its civility,” Ille said. “It shows them how to be better citizens. It shows them there is a world outside of their own, and they need to take care of others.”

Stuff the Bus is an annual toy drive that has collected more than 100,000 toys for children in Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Otsego, Fulton and Montgomery counties since its creation in 2008 by Roser Communications Network and its stations.

The fact that the toys go to children in the Mohawk Valley is one reason that Herkimer BOCES wanted to get involved, Ille said.

“This stays here,” he said. “Hopefully, these toys help many kids have a great Christmas.”

During his about one hour drive to work every day, Ille started hearing about Stuff the Bus on KISS FM, and he thought it would be a chance for VP-TECH students to do something positive for the community.

“I’m always looking into ways students can do community service,” he said.

Working on the project also helps VP-TECH students, who come from school districts across the Herkimer BOCES region, connect to their VP-TECH school, Ille said.

“I’m trying to build a sense of ownership here,” he said.

Toys were donated from not only Herkimer BOCES Technical Programs staff, but also from Special Programs and the Pathways Academy at Remington, Ille said.

Donations included Barbie dolls, remote-control cars and trucks that could be used in sand, members of the VP-TECH Youth Summit team said.

“That’s what I would do,” VP-TECH 10th-grader Aleksandr Kurganov, of Frankfort-Schuyler, said, with a laugh. “I’d play in the sand.”

Kurganov said he was happy to support the Stuff the Bus cause.

“I’m glad we’re helping kids by giving them toys and stuff,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing to do.”

Community service is important because helping others feel that people are kind to them might help them avoid mental illness, Kurganov said. For example, receiving a toy on Christmas when you otherwise might not have could help you avoid feeling depressed, he said.

“It helps out the people who don’t have much, and it gives them kindness,” he said.

VP-TECH 10th-grader Andrew Doolittle, of Dolgeville, said it was interesting to support Stuff the Bus and help local children.

“Give them a nice Christmas,” he said.

Community service makes a town a nicer place, Doolittle said. He thinks the toy recipients will feel good as a result, he said.

“It will mean a lot,” he said. “It would make my day.”

VP-TECH 10th-grader Connar Dibble, of West Canada Valley, also thought Stuff the Bus was a good cause to get behind.

“I think it was very nice to do for kids that don’t get gifts like many people do,” he said.

Community service is important because it supports those who have less and gives them a chance for happiness, Dibble said.

“I would say they will be very happy with what they get,” he said.




Students yell "We stuffed the Bus" while in front of the bus for Stuff the Bus


Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School students yell “We stuffed the bus” for a Stuff the Bus video on Thursday, Dec. 6, after they loaded toys they helped collect at Herkimer BOCES. In back, from left: Connar Dibble, of West Canada Valley; Andrew Doolittle, of Dolgeville; Christopher Janis, of Frankfort-Schuyler; Brianna Holtz, of Central Valley; Rebecka Brewer, of Central Valley; Jenna Lyman, of Central Valley; Aurora Burdick, of Central Valley, and Keri Delaney, of Central Valley. In front: Aleksandr Kurganov, of Frankfort-Schuyler.




Students carry a large toy over to the Stuff the Bus bus


Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School students (from left) Christopher Janis, of Frankfort-Schuyler; Connar Dibble, of West Canada Valley, and Andrew Doolittle, of Dolgeville, load toys onto the bus for Stuff the Bus on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Herkimer BOCES.




A closeup of the Stuff the Bus logo on the bus with people loading toys onto the bus in the background


Toys are loaded on the bus for Stuff the Bus on Thursday, Dec. 6, outside of Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES.




Four students carrying toys over to the bus for Stuff the Bus


Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School students (from left) Christopher Janis, of Frankfort-Schuyler; Keri Delaney, of Central Valley; Andrew Doolittle, of Dolgeville, and Connar Dibble, of West Canada Valley, load toys onto the bus for Stuff the Bus on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Herkimer BOCES.