When a series of hurricanes devastated Houston, TX, many cities in Florida, and the entire territory of Puerto Rico, Meadowbrook teachers Barbara Campbell, Caroline Kurman, and Linda Rapciak knew they needed to do something to help.
They decided to do a Service Learning Project to build school kits for hurricane victims who lost everything in the recent storms. Each grade in the Lower School, JK-5th, was responsible for bringing in a particular school supply item. The kits were comprised of crayons, pencils, scissors, erasers, rulers, pencil sharpeners, and pads of paper or notebooks. But the work didn’t stop at donating school supplies.
Across the school, our students were learning about the many ways a hurricane impacts people’s lives, and were encouraged to think of ways to help. In science, they learned where hurricanes come from, and why they can cause so much damage. In their classrooms, they read Beautiful Hands by Bret Baumgarten and Kathyrn Otoshi, a heartwarming story of all the things little hands can do to help themselves and others achieve their dreams. In art class, the children mimicked the illustrations from the book and used their handprints to decorate canvas bags that the school kits will be donated in. And in their Social-Emotional Learning lessons, the students learned about empathy, and helping other people in times of need. In music class, they sang songs about “filling up buckets” as a metaphor for giving to others. Music teacher Linda Rapciak also asked the children to think about what they would take from their homes given five minutes to evacuate before a hurricane.
“I just think it is so wonderful,” Linda said. “The students were so thoughtful in their responses, and resoundingly answered that they would worry most about their families.” It goes to show that in times of need, your family and friends are what matter most.
In total, 88 school kits donated by Meadowbrook will be delivered to children in need by United Methodist Committee on Relief.
We are so proud of our students and teachers for their efforts to help the victims of the recent hurricanes!