Arredondo Elementary proves yet again that having a big heart can go a long way. Each year, the teachers enrich their classrooms by teaching students about civic responsibility and strengthening their community through their annual Service Learning Project. This year, Arredondo came together again to help support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Over the years, Arredondo’s Service Learning Projects have evolved from grade-level projects to school-wide initiatives. Three years ago, First-Grade Teacher Nicole Roberts had the idea to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and took the lead on the school-wide project.
“My sister-in-law is a 12-year cancer survivor because of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Roberts. “It has become a passion to give back to them within my family, and now I am happy to say, our school community as well.”
This year, the school decided to try something new by participating in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, which took place on Saturday, September 16. On top of raising money to support the cause, the school prepared for the run/walk in PE class, learned about the research hospital in their classrooms, and participated in a school-wide pep rally.
The wonderful weather and positive atmosphere made for a great event. Arredondo ended up with a team of 29 members which included staff, students, family members, and friends who all ran/walked to support St. Jude.
The goal that Arredondo had set was to raise $1,500. The entire school was proud to announce that they exceeded their goal by raising $2,125! The event as a whole raised over $160,000 to impact childhood cancer research, care, and treatment. Thanks to supporters, families receiving treatment never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything.
“Children giving back to children is such a beautiful thing!” said Roberts. “They have such big hearts and really show that they care about others. Our staff has also been amazing by participating in the run/walk as well as donating to the cause.”
Arredondo has supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the past two years. Last year, the school raised $1,000 to support various programs through St. Jude’s website such as art supplies, books, blood platelet transfusions, chemotherapy, and much more.
As a Title I school, Arredondo understands the importance of providing resources to families in need. The intention of Arredondo’s annual Service Learning Projects has been to focus on how their school community can help positively impact another community.
“Through service learning, students not only learn about the practical applications of their studies, but they also become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform,” explained Arredondo Elementary Principal Alison Bruening-Hamati.
Arredondo is continuing their efforts to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the classroom level. Kindergarten and first-grade classrooms have kicked off a Project Based Learning project to create children’s books which they will author, bind, and donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I am so proud of our school community for coming together to support this worthy cause,” said Bruening-Hamati. “There are children in our own school communities battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. In our efforts to support St. Jude, our students are modeling life skills and lifelong guidelines in a real way.”