BRE adopts families
By Celeste McNeil; photo courtesy of Meghan Murphy
Students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) assisted in making the holidays brighter for many families this year. BRE student council organized a school-wide service project to adopt families and provide needed items like clothes and shoes, in addition to Christmas gifts.
All grade levels participated in adopting a family or two. Some grades shared one family between the three classes, and others adopted a family per class. In total, the school adopted 17 families.
Several classes incorporated lessons about math into the service project. Second grade students were encouraged to earn the money needed to purchase gifts through extra chores at home and other jobs appropriate for their age. Then students shopped online, choosing gifts for parent volunteers to purchase from the store. Online shopping encouraged students to determine which items fit into their budget and balance needs and wants for each family member.
Fifth grade classrooms asked for gift donations from a list which parents could select items from. After purchasing the gifts, the items were sent to school and students had a wrapping party.
Older “book buddies” helped younger students wrap gifts in a collaborative school-wide activity. Book Buddies is a program which pairs older students with younger students, based on grade level, for mentoring and community building. Reading is a particular focus of the program, but it is also utilized for other collaborative activities like adopt a family wrapping.
Parents of student council participants were recruited to deliver the wrapped presents and gift cards to the local charities. “Students were very happy to be part of an event that had such a huge impact on our local community,” said Meghan Murphy, fifth grade teacher and co-student council advisor. “There was so much excitement throughout the whole school as gifts arrived and wrapping commenced. Students were able to see firsthand how generosity of your time and money can have a lasting effect on others.”