RUSSIA — Russia sixth grade students were busy last week demonstrating what it means to donate.
The students are implementing the new program Character Education A to Z: Designed by You and Me! The program places emphasis on teaching the whole child and building strong character in our youth. Throughout the year the elementary students will be exposed to character traits that begin with each letter of the alphabet, totaling twenty six character traits in all.
Students in each class, K-6, will have the opportunity to choose and lead the elementary in learning about two of these character traits. The sixth grade class tackled the letter D last week. As a class they decided on: D=DONATE!
They began by sponsoring a book drive. The elementary students were asked to donate gently used and/or new children’s books. In just four days the class collected 613 books. The donated books were given to Reading for a Change, an intervention program that targets at-risk readers in first, second and third grade in Troy.
The students donated a cancer care package to a two-year-old currently undergoing extensive chemotherapy. The package included several “busy bag” activities to help pass the time during their hospital stay. The students also created a care package for the child’s siblings to have at home so they would feel special too.
Next, the sixth grade challenged the entire elementary to get involved by completing a donation deed. A donation deed consists of donating one’s time to help someone in need. The response to this was overwhelming. In just four days the elementary donated over 255 hours of service time. Leading the pack in service hours was the sixth grade class by volunteering at St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen as their culminating donation event. Twenty three students spent their day off school helping those in need. The class donated a delicious hot meal, which they prepared and served, to approximately 100 people.
Overall the students had a very busy week teaching all of those around them the true meaning behind the word donate. The class began with one goal in mind: to bring awareness to the positive changes donating creates. Everyone may not have material goods to donate, but everyone has their time and skills to share with others. The Russia sixth grade class would like to challenge you, the reader, to donate to someone in need today. Will you pay it forward?
This article was submitted by Russia 5th and 6th grade Science Teacher Jenn Wysocki.