Cherry Hill Primary second grade students in Renee Achtermann’s and Heather Clark’s class and Cindy Dorfmeyer’s class gave back to the Washington Court House community through donations to Children Services of Fayette County and the Community Action Commission of Fayette County Homeless Shelter, respectively.
Dorfmeyer’s class collected games, activities and books for the local homeless shelter. The students put the skills they have been learning all year, as part as the Lions’ Quest Program, into action through their generous donations to those in need.
Lions Quest is a social and emotional learning program that was implemented building-wide at Cherry Hill Primary this school year. Through this process, children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage their emotions. According to Cherry Hill Primary School counselor Amy Jo Morris, students can begin to set and achieve goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish positive relationships, and then make responsible decisions as a result of the Lions Quest curriculum.
“We love the service learning component of Lions Quest because the students get to use all the skills they worked so hard on throughout the year and put them into action,” Morris said. “We are so proud of the many ways our students have chosen to serve their community.”
Achtermann’s and Clark’s class donated backpacks filled with useful items for children placed in foster care. The backpacks will be used to help children transition from one home to another.
“The hope is to brighten a child’s day and bring a smile to his or her face,” Clark said.
The donated backpacks were filled by the students with small toys, non-perishable snacks, books, art supplies, stuffed animals, blankets, toothpaste, toothbrushes, puzzles and games.
“Special thanks to parents and school staff that donated many of the items used to fill the backpacks,” Clark said.
“The class did a great job with this very special project. The students could compassionately relate to children in need,” Achtermann said. “The prospect of helping other kids through this project made our students proud and happy to do something positive for our school and community.”
Every class at Cherry Hill Primary chose its own service learning project that gave the students a sense of empowerment, confidence, and a feeling of accomplishment about things that matter, explained Morris. Students developed stronger academic aptitude as well as keen social, emotional, ethical and civic skills. Learning deepens and extends well beyond the classroom.
True connections between school and community were made through the Cherry Hill Primary service learning projects. Real needs were addressed by elementary students and met by these children as they looked to the world around them. They used critical thinking skills, and were able to use resources to meet the needs not only of the school, but also the community and beyond, with far-reaching effects.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the Ohio Lions Club for awarding Cherry Hill with the James T. and Betty Coffey grant, which was used to help fund our service learning projects. We are very thankful to have partnered with such a great organization,” Morris said.