Number of Participants: 1040
Hours Donated: 1
Value of Time Served: $8,788
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: June 9, 2021
When was the last time you were moved and motivated by a book? For Nicole Pataky’s fifth grade class at Forest Lake Elementary School in Wantagh, Catherine Ryan Hide’s national bestseller “Pay it Forward” not only spawned altruism on the school campus but will be a book the students will remember their entire lives.
After reading the novel about Trevor McKinney, a student who accepts his social studies teacher’s challenge to come up with a plan to change the world, the students discussed ways they, too, can affect change. The students decided to create a paper chain to reflect altruistic deeds on campus. Each time a student is affected by a positive gesture, the student for whom the deed was intended can make a link for the chain. As of June 7, there are 1,040 links to a chain that currently stretches the length of the school building. The plan is to create a chain long enough to spread through all of the hallways.
Ms. Pataky said the students, like the character Trevor, were originally worried that their project wouldn’t work. The completely student-driven project, however, has been more of a success than anyone could have imagined, Principal Jessica Zimmer said.
“The chain has become a visual representation in the school of how students have been helped by others,” Ms. Pataky said. “The students will remember this project for a lifetime.”
Photo caption: Wantagh fifth grade students in Nicole Pataky’s class at Forest Lake Elementary School held a chain that symbolizes how students have helped each other on campus after reading the book “Pay it Forward.”
Photo courtesy of the Wantagh School District