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Leading the Way- Caring for Others


RYRES students showed empathy and caring this year as they became involved with several service learning projects for the 2013-2014 school year. These included Give Five Read Five (books for summer reading), Recycling, Heifer International , Red Cross, Relay for Life and Canned Food Drive so the students at Rocky River and their families have been both generous and helpful to others around the world and in our local community.

Give Five Read Five
For the first time Rocky River participated in the "Give Five, Read Five" campaign which the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction launched in 2013. Donated books were collected throughout May and the exchange date was Friday, June 6th in order to provide students with new books for summer reading. Based upon findings from a Harvard study reading four or five books over the summer helps to prevent the summer reading slump. Our students were enthusiastic about exchanging their own gently used books for "new to them" books. Mrs. Shulman, Media Coordinator, and Mrs. Holder, AIG teacher, worked together to plan out their campaign. As a school service project, Mrs. Holders’ 5th grade reading class helped to organize the books and also assisted "shoppers" on exchange day. The AIG students were excited to take this leadership role and enjoyed sorting books by genre and reading level as well as help the younger students shop for books like The Magic Tree House series or Biscuit. Hundreds of books were received from our own Rocky River students as well as from the National Honor Society at Weddington High School. Students arrived early the morning of June 6th in anticipation of the book exchange. One parent emailed Mrs. Shulman that it was the first day in five years that her son made sure they arrived to school prior to the 7:00am bell because he was excited about getting a Titanic book he had seen on display. Mrs. Jones, a fourth grade teacher, commented that her students talked about the book swap all day. Mrs. Holder and Mrs. Shulman plan to hold this book exchange each year in order to provide students with the opportunity to receive "new to them" books for summer reading.

Rocky River Elementary School has always had their 4th grade Recycling Roadrunners doing their part to make the school a little bit greener by collecting paper and cardboard from every classroom and office to be recycled. This year they have partnered with Habitat for Humanity and the City of Monroe. A large, red recycling container has been placed on each hall and in the office area. Students and teachers place their empty plastic bottles (numbers 1 and 2) and aluminum cans in these containers. Once the containers are full, they are collected by Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity then sells the plastic bottles and cans to a recycling company and use the proceeds to build Habitat Houses. Habitat for Humanity builds and repairs houses all over the world for families in need of decent shelter. Habitat relies on volunteers and donations and by Rocky River providing them with plastic bottles and aluminum cans to recycle it is a great help to their organization. Our students also benefit because they understand how important it is to help others. Our school benefited with  $1,000.00 given by the City of Monroe for our recycling efforts.

Heifer International.
Heifer International is a nonprofit organization working to end hunger and poverty and save the earth through gifts of farm animals and training - Instead of providing hungry families with temporary sources of food Heifer provides the animals to a family to make them healthier and to improve their standard of living just by what the animal can provide such as milk from a cow or goat, eggs from poultry, draft power from water buffalo or wool from llamas. They also provide training in animal care and in farming methods that preserve the environment. Each family in turn passes on these gifts to another family in need, creating a chain of hope that lifts entire communities. Heifer provides help in countries around the world including the US.
Our students in K-5th grade recently had the opportunity to help others by donating to Heifer International. We encouraged students to do some chores to earn the money they wished to donate for this service project. Like Beatrice who had to work so hard to help out her family and to reach her goal of going to school we feel the students will get more from the project by earning the money. Students donated $242.76 and we were able to purchase a sheep, honeybees, chickens and fruit and nut trees to show empathy and caring for others.

Written by: Heather Shulman, Karen Holder and Brenda Todd
Posted: Jun 08, 2014 by Brenda Todd

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