Children attending the Early Learning Center at First Presbyterian Church of Covington are learning early the value of giving to those in need.
ELC Director Deana Graham said she and teachers set a different unit of study each month for all the classes.
"This month is 'thanksgiving,'" Graham said, "and so we've been talking about how fortunate we are."
This November the students have collected dozens of canned goods and boxed sides - three play-wagons full - to donate to the Community Food Pantry adjacent to the church.
"They are very proud of themselves because of how many cans they've collected," Graham said.
Teachers also used the cans in their lesson plans about sorting and counting as well as the importance of giving.
Four-year-old Caden Coggins brought in cans of soup and corn and boxed macaroni and cheese.
"They're for the people who don't have any food," Coggins said. "All of us did it."
Children also learned about the history of Thanksgiving and listened to tales of the first colonial gathering between English settlers and American Indians.
"They didn't have any food or water, and the Indians helped them grow corn," said Sarah Jane Moss, 4.
On Friday morning, the students layered up with coats, hats and mittens and marched across Brown Street to the Food Pantry where they were greeted by grateful volunteers.
"We wanted them to take it so they could see where it's going," Graham said.
Graham said each of the students taking over the cans personally allows them to draw a sense of ownership in the project as well as reinforces the value of community service.