By Nathan Pilling firstname.lastname@example.org
June 5, 2014
BEAVERCREEK — Last week students at Beavercreek City Schools completed a week of service as the culmination of a school year’s worth of efforts in “paying it forward.”
Each year the district chooses a service learning project to encourage good citizenship, and this year’s theme was “Pay It Forward.” The project encouraged students to do good deeds for others with no expectation of recognition.
“At Beavercreek City Schools we recognize that there’s a need to promote good citizenship,” said program coordinator Erin O’Dell. “Having these district-sponsored service learning projects really provides our students with the experience to be active citizens.”
As students completed a good deed throughout the year, they were told to give the recipient of their deed a ticket. On the ticket the recipient was to write down the deed and then in turn pass that ticket along to someone else after completing their own good deed. According to the program’s website, the goal was to “keep the ticket — and the momentum of kindness — moving forward, eventually creating a ‘ripple effect’ of helpful efforts throughout the community.”
Last week’s program wrapup had students focusing on the year’s theme through many different projects.
Ankeney Middle School students worked for 30 minutes each day last week at a staff-sponsored activity. Some of their work included playing games with senior citizens, making fleece blankets for Snuggle Up Inc., (a charity that provides bedding for children living in poverty) writing letters of support to women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer, making friendship bracelets for children at Dayton Children’s Medical Center, decorating and donating onsies for premature babies and making animal care packages for animal charities.
Coy Middle School students contributed to the week’s activities in a concentrated effort on Friday. Some of their work included making “Boo-Boo Bunnies” for sick children at Dayton Children’s Medical Center, walking to a local cemetery to put flags on the graves of veterans, writing letters to veterans, creating “smile rocks” to leave behind for others and creating inspirational bookmarks for deployed servicemen and women. The school’s jazz band also performed a free concert for the community at the Beavercreek Senior Center.
These were just some of the efforts done in the Beavercreek City Schools last week. Students and staff at all nine Beavercreek school buildings took part in the year’s efforts.
O’Dell said students were excited about the week.
“We had a lot of enthusiasm for our projects,” she said. “Our kids have shown that they really enjoy paying it forward and that it doesn’t just feel good to be the recipient of an act of kindness. It really feels good to pass along a random act of kindness.”
Past district service learning projects include food and book drives, honoring local heroes and various fundraising efforts, including one that raised enough money to send 60 veterans to Washington, D.C. through Honor Flight, an organization that sends World War II veterans to the nation’s capital to visit the memorials there.
“Through our service learning projects we encourage students to identify needs in their communities and then we educate our students on those needs and develop a plan to use our resources, our talents to address those needs,” said O’Dell. “That’s what good citizens do.”