SCV Rotary Club donates meals to Bridgeport teachers

Members of the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita meet Charlie Chong, of Catering by Charlie, second from right, as he prepares to deliver 60 meals to the staff and teachers at Bridgeport Elementary in Valencia on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

In an effort to give a big thank you to Bridgeport Elementary School for the hard work the teachers and staff have been putting in for students, the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita provided lunch Tuesday. 

The idea came after teacher Ingrid Boydston gave the club a presentation, talking to them about distance learning. 

“Ingrid spoke at our club meeting regarding the changes that teachers are having to go through to teach online, how they’re doing their classes and how they’re trying to do the best they can for all the students,” Glenn Terry, club president, said. “She came in with lots of enthusiasm and excitement, and she did a really good presentation.”

For Boydston, it was simply being given the opportunity to share her experience with them that she appreciated most.

“Everyone’s talking about it, but nobody has asked yet,” Boydston said regarding the presentation. “At first I thought, ‘Oh, well, this will just be so interesting to share.’ And then I realized it was important to share.”

So Boydston went to work, asking both teachers and parents what their own experiences were, hoping to share that with the club.

“What I found out was, everyone is struggling, even more than I realized,” she said. “(But) even though everyone’s struggling, it feels like it’s worth it because it’s for the kids.

Bridgeport Elementary School teacher Ingrid Boydston, center, stands with Rotary Club of Santa Clarita members after a donation of food to teachers and staff. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

“The bottom line is we’re going to do whatever it takes, and it’s nice for us to know that the parents know how challenging it is for us,” she added. “It takes so much more time than you think it would, but we also want the parents to know that we realize how challenging it is for them. We know it’s so hard.”

It was what one teacher said that really struck Boydston, sharing that though this is a difficult situation for everyone, it will allow everyone to come out of it more resilient and with a greater appreciation for education.

“I thought that’s what this whole situation is,” she said. “It’s hard for everybody, so you acknowledge it, you encourage each other and you just keep doing your best. That’s all you can do.”

Boydston did the presentation virtually from her classroom, showing the club the step up she’d created for her students. 

With a degree in theater, she, with the help of her husband, TimBen, executive artistic director for The Canyon Theatre Guild, created sets, which could be wheeled in front of the camera, to keep students engaged. 

The club members were so moved, Terry decided to say thanks by offering to provide lunch for the teachers at Bridgeport.

“It’s a support of what we feel as Rotarians that the community needs,” Terry said. “This is about all of us trying to work together and helping the community, and (teachers) have obviously been a huge part of that, with continuing to help the youth, and we appreciate it.”

Charlie Chong, of Catering by Charlie, wheels a cart containing 60 meals to the staff and teachers at Bridgeport Elementary in Valencia which were donated by Rotary Club of Santa Clarita on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

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