Doing their part in the season of giving, a class of Grade 7s came up with creative and kind ways to lend a hand, or a cup of coffee.
After watching the trailer for the 2000 movie Pay it Forward, about a goodwill movement started by a boy, Grade 7 students at Glendale Middle school were asked to find a way to make a difference to somebody else.
“We let them use their imagination and see what they came up with,” said Kaylene Hubley, a third-year Red Deer College middle years education program student.
Hubley has been working on her practicum at Glendale Middle School in Red Deer. She and Nicole Vikse, a fellow practicum student, have been working under two teacher mentors at the school — Heather Russell and Susan Douglas. Together they developed the pay-it-forward inspired project.
The Grade 7 class that was assigned the project has 21 students. Working in teams, they decided on their own to pay it forward in the school or in the community.
One pair of girls bought Tim Hortons coffee and hot chocolate, and some mittens.
“They stood outside by Sobeys and gave the coffee and mittens to people who needed them,” said Hubley.
“The girls were so excited to tell us about it. One of them got her parents and family involved, her younger brother handed out hot chocolate, her Dad pitched in and her Mom drove them around.”
Other examples include a couple of boys raising awareness about leukemia around the school; girls who baked cookies and handed them our at Loaves and Fishes; and two girls who started a homework club in the school.
“They can work with kindergarten to Grade 3 students to help out with homework,” said Hubley. “Their first day was last Wednesday and they had 22 kids show up for the two of them.
“They were a little overwhelmed.”
A pair of boys is assembling a care package of hygiene products to help out people who don’t have access to them, specifically the homeless.
“When we explained the activity, lots of the students had the idea ‘Why do we have to help people we don’t even know,’ ” said Hubley.
“It has been interesting to see them change and buy into this.”
The two practicum students and their teacher mentors wanted to take an unconventional approach.
“A lot of them were unsure of what they could do and they said ‘We don’t have money, we’re only in Grade 7. What can we do?’ ” said Hubley.
“A lot of them have realized it’s cold outside and there are people who live outside, who don’t have homes, so there are things we can do for them.”