Students at Edison PreK-8 School work on community projects throughout seventh grade. Last year, they did a small project in the immediate neighborhood, “but the kids wanted to take it up a level this year and move into the larger community,” said Tammy Brewer, one of two seventh-grade teachers.
In addition to making baskets for the homeless, visiting the House of Bread and raking leaves in the fall for people in the school neighborhood, students took on and are wrapping up an eight-week effort with volunteers from Wright State and Central State universities and United Way, making numerous projects for Children’s Medical Center.
“Edison is a Neighborhood School, and our site coordinator got us hooked up with Youth Change the World through United Way,” said Brewer. “Our students wanted to make something for children, so broke into groups, brainstormed and came up with a number of ideas.”
Children’s Medical Center was contacted to find out what was needed, and the 63 seventh-graders have worked to meet some of those needs.
Each group decided what it would do so they would have a variety: They had a teddy bear drive and made tie blankets, tissue paper flowers, dreamcatchers, inspirational stones and cards. “And, they wanted to buy crayons and coloring books, so they had a three-day bake sale at the school and raised $292,” said Brewer. “The kids did all the footwork, even making and distributing fliers; all of the projects were student-driven.”
The groups work every Wednesday for an hour during the school day with the volunteers. “It’s so neat to see them working,” said Brewer. “We have tables set up in the room and hallway, and they come in and really get down and busy.”
Later this month, a group of 10 students, Brewer and Cynthia Johnson, the other seventh-grade teacher, will deliver the goodies. “We’re hoping to take pictures to share with both classes when we return,” said Brewer.
“Most of the items will be passed out as tray surprises with meals, but things like the tie blankets and teddy bears will be given out by the staff.”
One of the students, Kaitlyn Tshabalala, summed up the project when she said, “The feeling of helping these children is one in a million.”