First grade students at Cherry Hill Primary recently promoted health, healing and treatment in the Washington Court House community and beyond, through Lions Quest service learning projects.
Lions Quest is a social and emotional learning program funded by the Lions Clubs International Foundation. The curriculum nurtures a positive connection to school and peers through character education and positive behavior development. Topics covered in this school-wide curriculum also include anti-bullying, drug, alcohol and tobacco awareness as well as leadership skills through service learning.
Cherry Hill Primary students from teacher Courtney Dye’s first grade class held a bake sale at the school to raise money for cancer research as part of their service learning project.
“It touched my heart that they were thinking of others,” Dye said. “The whole class was coming up with ideas on how they could give back to someone in need financially or emotionally.”
Students from Dye’s class were encouraged, with the help of parents, to pick out and help prepare and package baked good items that the students sold at school to raise money for a cancer research charity. The class was split into four teams that each had a day to sell their items for the bake sale. Dye’s class raised $459, which they donated to the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital for cancer research.
Robyn Hadden, associate director of special events at the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, and Cherry Hill teacher Cyndi Meriweather supported the students’ endeavors in their service learning project. Cherry Hill teachers, staff, administration, students and parents also helped Dye’s class reach their goal.
Melissa Mustain’s and Robin Fleak’s classes held a readathon as part of their service learning project. They raised money to purchase a Butterfly Wagon at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The children read daily at the elementary school for 30 minutes during Right to Read Week, April 30 to May 4.
“The children asked sponsors for donations for this readathon,” the teachers said. “We encouraged them just to get a flat rate donation. No amount was too big or too small.”
The classes set a goal of raising $500 for the project, which was met with donations totaling $505.66. All the money was given to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The students also collected several new books that were donated to the hospital for children to enjoy during their stay there.
“Our kids were so excited to raise money for such a special cause,” said the first grade teachers.
“Whether it’s to wave goodbye to a discharged patient happily riding out the door with their balloons and personal belongings, or a more somber time, as these same wagons roll children to surgery or to their latest chemo treatment,” according to the hospital website. “A rolling wagon always stops traffic here at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”
“Wagons are the preferred mode of patient transport since the 1960s,” the website states. “Our transportation team estimates each wagon rolls 12-15 times around the campus every day. That’s a lot of rolling! Our patients love them… they’re much less intimidating than a wheelchair and they hold everything including patients, car seats and special possessions.”
Local community resident Stacey Sanchez knows how important the Butterfly Wagons at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are to patients and families. Her son Ian was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and received a heart transplant at 3-months-old. He spent over 10 years living life, loved by his parents, family and friends. Nationwide Children’s Hospital became a very important part of his life, as extended family and friends, until his death over a year ago.
Sanchez visited Cherry Hill to talk to the students about Ian and the impact the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Butterfly Wagons had on her son.
“Ian would ride in the wagons so his legs would not get tired, and sometimes there were not enough wagons for all the kids who needed to use one,” Sanchez said. “Ian would watch babies be pulled around the hospital so they could get out of their rooms and look at the fish tank that they have at the hospital.”
Sanchez told the first grade students, “You were part of helping kids like Ian.” She shook their hands and told them, “Thank you from a mommy who pulled her son around the hospital many times.”
“Some of the children remembered that their teacher told them about Ian and how he needed a new heart at Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” Sanchez explained. “They knew he had lived a good life and a few asked me directly if he had died. They were healing for me. Kids are just innocent and want to know.”
“They were so sweet and even though I didn’t know most of them personally, they helped this hurting mamma’s heart,” Sanchez said.