Seventh graders give service to the community
Baybrook Village Care
As students arrive at Baybrook Village Care, an assisted living facility there was a large variety of games and seemingly everyone enjoyed the time. Following the games, students went to the living room in the facility and listened to live music from a staff member. Residents appeared to have this as a daily routine and enjoyed it while singing and clapping along. Songs included: “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Wake Up Little Susie”, “Home on the Range,” and, a highly preferred song of a resident, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. After this, each student pushed one of the elderly in their wheelchairs to where they eat lunch. Then the students ate lunch themselves in a separate room, and most left with a smile on their face along with the residents. “I chose to go to Baybrook because I think it would be fun to bring a smile to someone’s face, and I thought it would be fun to play games with the elderly. My experience was very fun. We got to play games and make music with the residents, and they were all smiling and everybody was very happy,” said Grace Milliken.
Students that attended Little Leopards held hands of those less than half the size of theirs, formed relationships with children years younger, and had smiles forming on their lips when gently speaking to the little ones. The program was located at Hart Elementary with roughly 25 seventh-grade students in attendance. The students worked with children from the ages of 1-5, playing games, assisting in cleanup, and making sure the kids stayed safe. The students were originally divided into three groups, one for each class, but were eventually merged to form two. “I’m embracing my inner child,” Kaitlyn Anderson said with a smile. Although the event was a success, the students still faced challenges including a fire drill. The children eventually reached naptime, the students insisting they deserved the same. “I really enjoyed the service learning project because it helped us give back to the teachers and students of Little Leopards,” said Ian York. “We got to play with a bunch of little kids, and it was just really fun.”
As the time came for the seventh graders to have their service project. The service project at Myers Park though was no picnic. While seventh graders exited the bus, their excitement built when they saw a huge grass field next to a blue lake that glistened in the sun. However, the students then turned their heads to find dirty shovels, rakes, hoes and mulch. They were to be split into two groups, each with their own job. The house workers spread mulch around the perimeter of the house. The garden workers did the same, however, they did so in the garden, and not around the house. Those two groups were split into two more groups; the rakers and the dirt carriers. The dirt carriers filled wheelbarrows with mulch, and rolled it to the rakers, who spread out around the plants. The students worked for three hours, until finally getting to break for lunch. Luckily, by the end of the third hour they had finished their work. Once the students were done eating, they loaded the bus, and were ready to head back to campus.
Garnet Hill Assisted Living
Garnet Hill is an Assisted living home that offers many activities and foods to fit the residents’ needs. Students going to Garnet Hill helped the elderly through a day of fun activities including painting leprechauns and playing bingo. They worked with elderly people to assist them in understanding and making the project. Students helped with cleaning the workspace, and making the base of the head. They also played bingo and got to experience the joy the adults had in it. Students also had many opportunities to meet several different people and learn stories about when they were young. “My favorite part was hanging out, and really getting to know the people at bingo,” said Brooklyn Lloyd. Probably the most memorable moment was getting to sit down and listen to them tell their stories. Kids were able to hear about their past while learning some of life’s most valuable lessons.
Jonathan’s Place is a temporary home for abandoned and neglected children while they are found a foster or forever home. The more permanent residents, that is, teens who have a difficult time being adopted, are all girls ages 10-17. Another program on in Jonathan’s place allows girls 18-23 to stay at the home while adjusting to life as an adult. Students at Jonathan’s Place organized toys for children to play with. They were split into three groups, each going into separate rooms to clean and remove things that could be hazardous to little children, such as choking hazards. After cleaning the kids’ playrooms, students were given a tour of the grounds. While viewing the cafeteria, the Lovejoy kids met two children, a two-year-old girl, and her three-year-old big brother. They are the children of a teen in the house, being cared for as their mother went to school. Students got to say hi and interact with them. The rest of the children were in school. After the tour, children boarded the bus and left.
Allen Parks and Recreation
Students did multiple jobs around the park such as raking the fallen leaves, picking up trash in the stream, wiping the tables, and cleaning up the park in general. By the time the students had finished, there was an abundant amount of time left, so they spent the remainder of their time exploring the woods, playing in the stream, and picking up trash on the way. Some students such as Aidan Meek felt that the experience was something to learn from and enjoyable. “We went to Allen Parks and Recreation and we went to clean up trash that any people have left out. We cleaned up probably one trash bag full of trash. After that, we went on a bunch of trails and hung out and made new friends. Out of some of the trash we found, we actually made a fishing rod that was pretty cool,” said Meek
Becky’s Horse Rescue
Students who went to Becky’s had multiple tasks to achieve before they could begin to interact with the horses. Becky’s Horse Rescue is a place where they rescue animals who have been abused or even stripped for meat. First off they split us into two groups, one group was to muck the fields of horse poop for manure, and the second group was to help clean up the trash in the field and gather corn for the pigs. “I had lots of fun playing with the animals and feeding them, all in all I just had a lot of fun helping out the community.” Said Gavin Chaisson. Every single animal at Becky’s horse farm was a rescue, which means that many of them were rescued from bad owners, people who hurt them for no reason and even slaughter houses that stripped the animals for meat.
Students who went to the Heard museum helped cut down saplings and mulched the whole front part of the Heard museum. When students cut down saplings, they got big garden shears and this spray to use. Students cut down as low as they could on the sapling, and the student’s partner used the spray to spray the roots so the sapling wouldn’t grow again. That was during the morning time. After lunch, all students went to the front of the Heard museum and got truckloads of mulch. Students worked together by wheel-burrowing and raking of the new mulch that came in.
North Texas Bank
Students went to the North Texas Food Bank to do multiple items on their agenda. Make meals, sort them, put them in boxes, and ship them to families all across north Texas who can’t afford a meal. They made a total of 4,437, meals that day. That means that 1,479 families got fed a meal that day. Students were to get a bag and put various snacks and meals in it. They then passed it on to the people to put the meals in the boxes. This place runs on volunteers. Without them, this place doesn’t run at all. That’s why this place respects and is dependent on volunteers. Because volunteers in the area are thankful for what they have and realise how lucky they are, they go help those people in need and can’t get a meal every day. The food bank gives a meaning/purpose in Texas. Many lives have been saved because of it. The foundation goes all throughout North Texas. Most lives throughout North Texas have been saved because of it. We don’t know where we would be without it.
Students who went to Operation Kindness animal shelter were able to interact with dogs and cats, bathe puppies, wash cat trees, and make dog and cat toys for the animals at the shelter. When students got to Operation Kindness they were greeted by wagging tails and purring cats. Then they got filled in on information like how the shelter has been running for 41 years and how they have adopted more than 90,000 animals in that 41 years. After that, students went and made dog and cat toys out of socks, toilet paper rolls, kong’s, peanut butter, and catnip. During that time groups of two people went and washed a puppy. After animal toys were done students went and washed cat tree’s. Then some students went to the cat room and some went to go interact with the newly washed puppies. This included holding the puppies as well as lots of cuddling. Finally, after a long day, students ate lunch and said goodbye to their furry friends then headed back to school.
Service Learning has been a Lovejoy tradition since the school opened in 2006 and every year the students help many organizations.