Thanks to the legacy of beloved teacher Bryan Esstman, Lively Elementary School is embracing the season of giving. 

Esstman, who passed away February 2020, was always the organizer of holiday giving at Lively. 

Taylor Kaiser, kindergarten teacher at Lively, is continuing the generous spirit of Esstman and organizing a school-wide food drive. 

“I was browsing social media one day, and I came across this idea of a reverse advent calendar where each day your family could purchase an item to donate to a local food bank for the holiday,” says Kaiser. “When I saw it, I thought, ‘Hey, I can do this in my classroom,’ so I created a donation calendar for my students to follow and adjusted the dates so we could collect all of the items. Then, I started thinking, maybe we could make this a schoolwide event and get everyone involved to increase the number of items we could donate.”

With Principal Fernando Vadillo’s sign-off, Kaiser hit the ground running. 

Now in their second week of the drive, classes turn in their non-perishable food items every Friday. After a total of four weeks, Lively will send their donation to Irving Cares, a local nonprofit that provides food for families in need. 

Principal Vadillo is extremely proud of the school’s focus on the community. 

“I’m very excited that our school is helping our community in such a time of need,” he says proudly. “It shows our students and staff’s commitment to making a difference.”

To learn more about Brian Esstman and his impact on Lively, read “A Teacher’s Legacy.”