Middle school students in Wisconsin aim to show age-related peers that “strangers care”07/25/18 07:08:pm
By Lori Findlay, advisor and teacher at Silver Lake Intermediate School
Many schools offer volunteer opportunities for students to get involved with at their school. The Service Learning Club at Silver Lake Intermediate School has taken their goodwill to the next level and has reached out within their community to help serve the young patients at Rogers Memorial Hospital.
These middle school students have supplied 36 boxes to the hospital, filled with items to use as coping skills. The items include journals, small puzzles, activity/coloring books, card games, stress balls, silly putty, markers, crayons and Rubik’s cubes. In order to purchase these items, members of the club raised money by selling candy at a school dance, donations from the student council, and the 8th grade students donated money during the month of May for Mental Health Awareness month.
Students collected shoe boxes, and then wrapped and decorated each one with inspirational and encouraging verses. The final step was packing each box with the engaging gifts. Lori Findlay, adviser of the club says, “The moment the kids saw all these boxes filled really impacted the students. They were looking at all the boxes and realized that the patients at Rogers really need something like this. The patients need to know people care about them and that even strangers want to do something to make their stay even just a little easier.”
Tess Karnowski, an 8th grade leader in the club, used this project as the vehicle to earn her Silver Award for Girl Scouts. She says, “I think that this project will make their days a little better. It’s not going to change them in a day, people change slower than that. But my goal was to make them feel appreciated, wanted, and loved by someone they didn’t know.”
Kendyl Havens in 5th grade says, “You can be the change in someone’s day. Hard work is worth it, you can change the world one person at a time.”
The kind gifts from the Service Learning Club made use of our “Give for a Better Day” drive. If you know a club or business that would be interested in holding their own “Give for a Better Day” drive, you can contact Laura Miller at email@example.com or find more information here.