Serving others

COURTESY/BROCK ISD

Brock second graders tie sheets of fabric together to make blankets for local nursing homes. Sixteen blankets were made and delivered, along with ornaments and cards.

Brock Elementary School staff engaged students to participate in a holiday service project — making blankets and ornaments for residents in nursing homes.

Science Technology Engineering Art Math Lab teacher Krystal Harrison, teacher Perrin Ward and Counselor Mary Kay Davis facilitate house meetings with students, and they started planning and brainstorming this project in November with the students.

“We talked about how if you want to be successful, then you have to have a plan,” Harrison said.

Parents would cut the fleece material, and second graders would tie two sheets of the fabric together to make a blanket. In total, they made 16 blankets, Harrison said, and the kids made cards and ornaments to be delivered with the blankets.

The elementary also collected socks to supplement their donation, Ward said.

The second graders got to deliver the blankets to nursing homes last week and sing to residents. Harrison said it was good for them to see the people they are aiming to serve in person.

“They actually get to see the benefit of their work and their thoughtfulness,” Ward said.

The point of the project is to enable students to understand the concept of doing something for someone else, Harrison said.

“We feel like Christmas time is a great time for them to understand that maybe not everybody has what they have,” Harrison said.

The project taught students cooperation, communication, problem-solving, service, respect and sharing, Davis said. The second graders also helped their younger classmates make the ornaments.

Kids having a “servant’s heart” is a priority for Brock Elementary faculty and the community, Harrison said.

“We were excited to be able to get this started and really show them that the power of doing something for somebody else can go a really long way in changing the world,” Harrison said.

The kids will work on another service project in the spring, and faculty will give students more opportunity to have ownership of the project, Harrison said.

“I’d like for it to be more student-driven and not where the adults are the ones having to do everything and say it’s the kids,” Davis said. “I’d like for the kids to be the ones doing the work.”

Service projects empower the youngest Brock students to affect change in the community, Brock Elementary Principal Erin Griffith said.

“I look forward to what they’ll plan in the future, problems that they’ll identify,” Griffith said. “Ms. Harrison and Ms. Ward have done a really good job of really getting the students to think about that design thinking where you’re identifying a problem and working together to brainstorm ways to be able to solve those things.”

Ward said the third graders who she also teaches at the intermediate school showed disappointment that they weren’t getting to sing carols or do service like the second graders.

“It made me realize that the one time made such an impact that they feel the need to keep it going,” Ward said. “They want to keep doing it every year, and they want to make it bigger and better, so that’s something we’re now going to plan [for the] future.”

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