Monday, February 16, 2009

Wow! Service Learning

Are you tired of all the bad news these days? Worried about the economy? Wish you could hear something uplifting for a change? Well, here you go! This story will make your day, it did mine!

(Really pretty gift bags ready for Brownsburg Meadows)

One of the things I'm well known for around our house is telling the kids what great schools they go to and how awesome their teachers are. Really! OK, sometimes after doing 3 hours of homework in one night the occasional, "I can't take it anymore" might slip out, but on the whole I think Brownsburg has some of the finest schools, administrators, and teachers around! Well, now they've outdone themselves in my book.

For most of the year the seventh grade students of Brownsburg East Middle School, Team Pathfinders have been working on a special project. Along with their teachers, they have been busy writing a grant, planning, making lists, shopping, and putting together a whole lot of special things for some really wonderful organizations in our community. Months of work culminated in a truly heartwarming night, Feb 5 when everyone. . . parents, teachers, students, community members, really everyone, was invited to help the students and teachers wrap up the project.

The students and teachers wrote, and applied for, a grant from the State of Indiana in order to get the funding they needed - and GOT the grant - (no small feat, I'm sure). Then they got busy! The organizations they chose to help out are Sheltering Wings Center for Women, Brownsburg Meadows Senior Citizen Community, and Hendricks County Animal Control.

(Mrs. Rosebrock (right) and a parent with the handmade totebags for Sheltering Wings)

The kids went on shopping trips to buy supplies, collected donations, even did a few sewing projects like the tote bags above, all to get ready for the big night. My kids and I went to the school that night, and I didn't really know what to expect. (Anyone with a 14 year old boy will understand what great communicators they are!)

I was blown away!

The organization that all this took seems almost insurmountable to me, but they did it! There were 5 stations set up that we rotated around to complete the jobs needed to be done. We filled the handmade totebags for the Moms and women at Sheltering Wings, stuffed Gift Bags for Brownsburg Meadows, and more totebag stuffing for the Animal Shelter. There were 2 tables dedicated to the children at Sheltering wings, one for making Valentine Cards, and another with, you guessed it, really cute totebags with kid supplies!

(My own "Ice Chip", and "Cottonball" making Valentines)

My favorite activity, and a lot of others it seemed, was cutting, putting together, and tying up blankets and pillows for the kids and Moms at Sheltering Wings. This was fun! I'm telling you, there were all kinds of blankets spread out on tables, floors and even the stage, all in various states of assembly. What a sight!

(Doesn't that look like fun!)

As we left the school that night I couldn't help but be really proud of the job that these teachers and this school are doing to educate our kids! One of the other things I'm famous for saying is, "I want my kids to be "whole" children. Life is not just about grades, or sports, or achievement. It's about all those things, plus so much more!" So a great big "Thank You" and "Great Job" goes out to all those that took a little time on February 5 to help out and a special "Way to Go" too all the kids and teachers of Team Pathfinders for doing something so incredible and memorable!

To see an article about this project and more information visit this link:
Hendricks County Flyer

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