HOBART | Kindergartners at Hobart's Early Learning Center have shown they're not too young to lend a hand in the community, Principal Amy Turley said.
During the past year, the school's Helping Hand Club donated toys to Toys for Tots, collected food for needy families and raised money for families affected by cancer, Turley said.
"I'm very proud of these guys. It's amazing what kindergartners can do," Turley said.
Club members were honored last week at the City Council meeting after receiving an invitation from Mayor Brian Snedecor.
Snedecor had asked the group to attend after he spoke at the school.
"He suggested we come to the meeting to be recognized for all our hard work," Turley said.
Turley said the Helping Hand program was initiated three years ago at the Early Learning Center at George Earle Elementary School by kindergarten teacher Rhonda Crouch.
"The premise is that hands are for helping, and let's see what we can do in our community and school," Turley said.
Crouch has been assisted this past year with the group of 70 students by kindergarten teacher Hannah Parkison and lunch room supervisor/parent Michelle Cicillian.
Group members began meeting after school in September and agreed to set good examples wherever they are, Turley said.
The students talked together and came up with a list of community members they would like to meet, including an astronaut.
In October, the students made cards for soldiers and heard a community helper from Hobart Middle School talk about what it's like to have a father in the military.
During the holidays, the student donated to Toys for Tots, decorated cookies for food baskets and made pictures for a local nursing home.
In March, the club organized the Change for a Cure Contest, which helped raise money for a few of the Early Learning Center families who have been affected by cancer.