School Spotlight: Cedar Island Elementary Students Learn to Give Back
A program at Cedar Island Elementary is teaching kids to give back at an early age.
“I think kids just naturally want to help other people,” says Barb Lindsey, a teacher at the school and the volunteer coordinator. “This is something very concrete they can see. There is something that they are doing and there is an end result. They know they are helping somebody else.”
While helping others is an important part of the school’s Year of Service Program, teachers say it also helps the kids grow as individuals.
“It’s just something that helps an individual be well rounded,” says Lindsey. “Certainly at school we always think about the academics that we are going to help kids improve their academic life. But… we also think it’s very important and we hear from parents that they wanted us to encourage that kind of altruistic feeling among the kids.”
Three Service Projects a Year
Students participate in three different projects throughout the year. Each one is hands-on and benefits local nonprofits.
One of those projects benefited local cancer patients. Students packed goody bags that included a note of encouragement that the student’s hand-wrote themselves.
“It’s just a little day brightener,” says Lindsey. “Something that when someone sits down to treatment and they open their bag they’ll have just a little ray of sunshine that comes out from some elementary kids.”
The goal is to instill the importance of community service at a young age. From looks of it, the program is working.
“It’s important to me,” says fifth grader Aurora Burke. “Even though they might be different than all of us and they need help we still appreciate them as who they are.”
Cedar Island Elementary students have another service project in the spring. Students are set to make fleece blankets that will be donated to a local animal rescue organization.