Community Advocate of the Year – Ben Plechaty & 5th Grade Class, Manatee Elementary School

Ben Plechaty told his fifth graders, “Sometimes the problems of the world seem overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. It starts locally, one person at a time; that’s how you help.” From this small start, Mr. Plechaty and his students have made a huge impact! Working with Friends of Children of Brevard, the GAL non-profit, Mr. Plechaty and his class provided children in out-of-home care with individual care packages. The children collected basic hygiene items and personal touches like fuzzy socks and stuffed toys. They put a great deal of thought – and heart – into the items they chose! The children said the project led to awareness about what others might be going through in their own classrooms at school. For this great community partnership, the GAL Program congratulates Mr. Plechaty and his students on being the GAL Community Advocate of the Year!