The fifth- and sixth-graders at Meadow Glade Adventist Elementary School (MGAES) in Battle Ground, Wash., were busy this past school year, reaching out to their community in several ways.
One of the first things they did was create Family Groups. Each of the three classes split into groups of four or five students each. Students came up with ways they wanted to help their community.
Serving the community meant something different for each group. Group outreach included gathering the lunch lists for Gail Roberts, the school secretary, each morning; creating blessing bags, which they gave to the homeless; purchasing chickens, rabbits and a flock of ducks for poor people in Sierra Leone; creating care packages for military service members; making baskets for grieving families; collecting shoes to help pay to buy a therapy dog for a local child; and helping assist classroom teachers in various ways like vacuuming Krista Patchin’s classroom.
Students were able to see the impact they had when they helped within their own community. As a result of choosing their own outreach project, students took ownership of what they did. They became better friends within the groups, but the most important thing was that they practiced community involvement.
Another highlight of the year was the worship books. As a result of a Don Keele Grant given to the fifth- and sixth-graders of MGAES, the students were able to write and publish a hardbound worship book. The process took a long time but was ultimately a success. Students were involved not only in writing but also in the editing and formatting of the worship book. By all accounts, the hard work was worth it in the end!
Another highlight of the year was when the students went up to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit in Seattle, Wash. The field trip was no ordinary one. Students arrived at school at 7:30 a.m. in order to make it to the exhibit bright and early. Once inside, students were able to see firsthand some of the terracotta statues, chariots and other artifacts on loan from China. They also had a chance to watch the IMAX movie Mysteries of China. This trip made their study of ancient China come alive.
Rachel Swanston, MGAES student, with Malaika Childers, MGAES teacher