Just because schools like Mary Stark Elementary may seem quiet on the outside, it doesn’t mean they’re quiet on the inside.

For Mandan Education Association president Barb Luetzen, this is personal.

That’s why she and other MEA members are filling bags with food for the students they love and miss.

 As a teacher, those kids in our room are family, and we worry about them as they walk out the door just as much as we are happy to see them walk back in in the morning,” Luetzen said. “So we know they’re safe. We know they’re fed. We know. And so, when we don’t see them on a daily basis, we do worry. Are they hungry? Are they fed? Are they safe? And this just helps us know that they get a little bit and they’re gonna be okay, too.”

Luetzen says efforts like these help her — and educators around the state–feel a little bit better about the students they’re apart from.  And she says it helps the children know–someone’s thinking about them.

Leutzen says that student-teacher bond is special.

 Once they are ours and in our room, they are ours forever,” Luetzen said. “It’s the quote it takes. A village is a very is a very true statement.”

Luetzen says it’s important to remember that often times the only meal a student receives each day–comes from school. 

“It makes your heart feel a little gratified that we can do something for them and they know we’re thinking of them as well.”