Yost Elementary has had a long-standing tradition of community service projects in all grade levels from kindergarten through fourth grade. Even though our students range in age from 5 years old up to 10 years, each one of them needs to know and experience the importance of giving back to their community in other parts of the country or world.
One of our favorite organizations to support is the American Heart Association. Students at all grade levels collect change to see which class can raise the most money. Our third- and fourth-grade students get sponsors to support the work and time they spend on their jump rope routines. It is a huge hit and everyone benefits from the experience.
Several teachers and staff members at Yost have had family members serving in the military. Our students have written letters of appreciation and collected much needed items for the active military. Students have also donated Halloween candy to a local orthodontic office that sends it to our troops that are stationed overseas.
Our kindergarten students have had a long-standing tradition of decorating pumpkins and delivering them to our neighbors in the town of Porter. The students have so much fun sharing their marvelous creations with the community.
A few years ago, our first-graders began a new tradition of helping restock the local food pantry in Chesterton. The teachers and students take a field trip to the pantry and get to see all that is needed to organize this project for the community. Students also get to help restock the shelves with items they have donated.
This year Yost will participate in The Kids Caring Community service project. This yearlong project will focus on ways to better our community, show appreciation for others through writing, protect the environment, and give back to those who serve. We are excited to be a part of this project for the 2013-14 school year. Our children and staff are more than willing and generous with their talents, time and resources to support local and charities abroad, organizations and community groups.
I would encourage your family to become involved in a charity or organization of your choice. Offering support does not always mean financial support. The donation of time or a talent is sometimes the most needed and cherished. It can be a great experience for the whole family.
This column solely re0resents the writer's opinion.