"It is wonderful to empower my students and the neighborhood with the ability to make their life and a piece of the world a better place," says facilitator and teacher, Barbara Stein.
Facilitator, P.S. 203 Student Government Kids Care Club
PS 203 Student Government Kids Care Club in Brooklyn, NY began in 2010. Since then the program has continued to expand. The Club wanted to be a part of National Make Your Mark week and Make a Difference Day events taking place during the 2nd week in October. In 2010, they applied for and were awarded their first Make Your Mark grant generously sponsored by Hasbro, Inc. for a project that involved the kids in the creation of a Kindness Chain. The students in the club facilitated the event schoolwide by having classmates of all ages wrting pledges to do simple kindness deeds throughout the neighborhood. Their responses were linked through a paper chain that was wrapped around the perimeter of the entire school. The children's parents and school neighbors got involved too and became active participants in PS 203's future projects.
This year, the PS 203 Kids Care Club again won a mini-grant for Make Your Mark Week, once again sponsored by Hasbro. This time their project involved a schoolwide Literacy Effort. The Club held a Book Collection requesting donations of gently used and new books by classmates, friends and families. Kids Care members classified and organized hundreds of books by reading level, topic and interest. Classes and adults visited the designated Literacy Room and took home books that appealed to them.
One student said, "This is better than going to the library or store!"
Another child said, "I can keep these!!"
Other projects that the Club has participated in include:
* One Sight -an eyeglass recycling event run by Lenscrafters. The kids collected unwanted eyeglasses. These were brought to Lenscrafters for recycling to third world countries.
* Toys for Tots -Collecting Toys for kids in need during the holidays.
* Hats Off - the kids raised funds and awareness for pediatric cancer patients through an activity called Hats On.
The club's favorite activity has been collecting groceries and stocking them for a neighborhood food pantry. Club members collected food schoolwide for a month. The 50 Kids Care Club members then walked several blocks carrying almost 100 bags of groceries to a community pantry. They stocked and filled the empty pantry shelves in time for Thanksgiving.
They also loved their project and visits with the residents at the Midwood Senior Center for Active Adults. The kids raised money through school sales to buy seniors New Year gifts, and entertained them with songs and dancing to bring cheer for the New Year! In March they returned to serve a St. Patrick's Day meal and to spread happiness and friendship to their new senior friends.
Teacher and facilitator, Barbara Stein says, "PS 203 Student Government Kids Care Club members learn by doing and by example. The families of the students also participate. All feel pride in the good we accomplish. I would love to expand my Kids Care Club so that children in the lower grades can have a similar experience as those in grades 3, 4, and 5. I feel service learning should begin in kindergarten. Not only do children in service learning programs learn lifelong lessons, but they also develop esteem, character and begin gaining leadership skills."
We at generationOn Kids Care Clubs commend the PS 203 Student Government Kids Care Club for the wonderful work they do reaching out with kindness and compassion to help others in their community, Brooklyn, NY and beyond. Congratulations to the PS 203 Kids Care Club and thank you to all at PS 203 who help make this possible.