Monday, October 31, 2016
Students Pre-K through 12th Grade Unite for a District-wide Day of Service
Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – Once the weather begins to cool and the leaves change colors, many people start to prepare for the fall and holiday season with acts of kindness in the general spirit of giving. From Breast Cancer Awareness activities and fundraisers to Thanksgiving canned food drives, tis the season to put others first.
And while many high school seniors across the nation are busy accumulating required community services hours in the spirit of giving, this year in Lancaster ISD, students in grades Pre-K through twelve are uniting for a District Day of Service on Tuesday, November 1.
Director of Family Engagement and Behavior Support Dr. Kanesha Waites said that the district started with a simple question.
“‘How can we, as a district, make a difference right here in our community?’ As a team, we understood the importance of giving back since we had all experienced service in our own upbringing,” she said, “As a village, I believe it is vital that we continue to teach our students the values and beliefs that have been taught to us.”
For weeks, a team of representatives from each campus have met to determine which community service activities their students will take on as part of this inaugural district-wide event. Campuses were challenged to get creative with their acts of service.
Some of the activities are:
- Canned Food Drives and items will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank and community churches
- Monetary donations will also be collected to give back to the North Texas Food Bank
- Staff and students will create goody bags to give to the children at Children’s Hospital
- Students will recycle in efforts of creating a clean and safe environment
- Students will create holiday cards and letters to send to the servicemen who serve from Lancaster
- Students will adopt a local firehouse and provide treats as a thank you for their service
- Students will collect socks for patients at a community nursing home and area Red Cross
- Students will collect baby wipes for a local crisis center
- Students will collect soap to donate to a women and children’s shelter
- Students will write letters to Mayor Knight sharing the success and improvement of their campus
- Students will write thank you letters to veterans in the hospital and their families
- Students will create survival kits for the local police and fire departments
- Students will create post cards to send to elderly citizens in the community
- Students will create and decorate placemats for Meals on Wheels
- Students will collect toiletry and hygiene products for The Family Place
The district’s Student Affairs Team has spearheaded the efforts of this Service Learning Project and Executive Director of College and Career Readiness/Student Services Creslond Fannin said that the goal is for students to become more civically engaged and leave a legacy in their community.
“We want them to experience a true sense of giving back to their community and always helping those in need,” she said.
In addition to the act of service, volunteering is a great way for students and adults to make new friends, develop compassion for their neighbors, and even learn a new skill or two.
“Service-learning is a wonderful way of introducing our students to real-life experiences that center on a community need or issue,” Dr. Waites said. “Through reflection activities, students will be given the opportunity to understand what was learned and experienced, and how our community benefited from their acts of kindness.”
While the district has identified a single day to unite efforts, community service projects take place year-round at each campus. Every campus has an established organization for young ladies (under the Sister 2 Sister Umbrella) and young men (under the My Brother’s Keeper initiative) where students participate in service-learning projects. In addition, campuses regally participate in canned food drives, coat drives and toy drives to give back to others.
Follow the districts efforts on social media @WeServe.