Fayetteville-Manlius School District students and staff members recently devoted one of their final afternoons of the school year to helping others.
On June 20, Wellwood Middle School hosted for the first time an “Hour of Giving” where students and educators could spend 60 minutes engaged in a community service project of their choosing. The event encourages students to put others first and build strong, meaningful relationships within their school community and the wider world.
“Our mission is to help students develop the skills they need to become socially responsible citizens,” Wellwood Principal Melissa Corbin said. “Our ongoing character education work helps students recognize how acts of kindness can have an impact on themselves and others.”
For the event, students could choose one endeavor (from more than a dozen) to participate in. Activities included landscaping the school’s courtyard; designing greeting cards for pediatric hospital patients, military personnel and veterans; baking treats for local first response units; decorating rocks in support of the “Regan’s Acts of Kindness” movement; cleaning up debris at nearby Beard Park; making homemade blankets and peanut butter biscuits for local animal rescue groups; and assembling sandwiches for the Samaritan Center – an organization that works to fight hunger in the community.
Students could also choose to visit with residents at a community senior facility or work with children at Mott Road, Enders or Fayetteville elementary schools.
“This is an opportunity for students to look beyond their everyday lives and make a difference,” Mrs. Corbin said.
Members of the school’s Site-Based Team – a group of Wellwood administrators, educators and parents that work together in support of the school’s initiatives and goals – developed the project earlier this school year. Families donated most of the supplies that were used – like baking ingredients, textile materials and art supplies – and food drives were held during Wellwood’s spring concerts to collect items for the F-M Food Pantry, which some students sorted during “Hour of Giving.”
“We wanted to close the school year on a high note by giving back to the community,” Mrs. Corbin said. “Our goal is for students to emerge from middle school as leaders and citizens who will strengthen our educational climate and, ultimately, enrich their global community.”
The school’s two character education programs – Project: Pass it On and The Positivity Project – are designed to help students recognize character strengths in themselves and others.