Children helping children.
That’s the general theme among the two winners of the Philanthropy Council of Northeast Nebraska’s youth contest in the kindergarten through fourth grade category.
The first winning project comes from fourth-grade students at Montessori School. The project, Getting a Head Start, involves creating literacy boxes for Norfolk Public Schools’ preschoolers. Read Aloud Norfolk is the mentor for the project.
“Our hope is to help Norfolk Public Schools’ preschoolers maintain and increase their skills over the summer so they come to school in the fall and be prepared and excited for learning in kindergarten,” the group said in its application. “Most of these children are starting school with some type of disadvantage already.
Through the help of their teacher, Kathy Farlee, the fourth-graders will put together 100 literacy boxes that will include educational supplies and a DVD of songs, stories, poems, rhymes and other items, all created with dramatics through iMovies. The boxes will be handed out in May.
“We enjoy all kinds of dramatics, as well as helping others,” the students said in the application. “By creating the literacy box with a DVD, we can develop skills we are good at, learn more about technology and feel good about ourselves because we will be helping to make the difference in the lives of a lot of young children.”
The literacy boxes will help students be more prepared for school in the fall, they said.
“Students lose a great deal of the things they have learned during their time in school if they do not continue to practice those skills,” they said. “This project will promote learning and retention of skills children need to keep from falling behind. We also hope it will keep the children excited about learning.”
Also having a winning project in this category was a group of students from Jefferson Elementary in Norfolk. The group is not only focused on children, but the elderly as well.
Called Cuddles from Kids, the project involves creating tie blankets for children and the elderly in Norfolk. The Norfolk Morning Kiwanis Club is the mentor for the project.
“Our blankets will keep people warm and let them know we care,” the group said in its application.
The students said they will set up stations in their classrooms to create the blankets. When completed, they will be distributed to agencies and organizations in Norfolk.
“Sometimes times are tough and we want our community to know we can make a difference,” they said. “We want to make a difference and become youth philanthropists to help and change our community.”