Number of Participants: 75
Hours Donated: 10
Value of Time Served: $6,338
Event Type: Civic & Community
Date: November 5, 2018
Alden Terrace School
Central Avenue, Valley Stream
Alden Terrace School fifth-graders are using the knowledge they’ve acquired by reading R. J. Palacio’s book “Wonder” to change the life of a child in need.
“Wonder” tells the story of August Pullman, a child with facial disfigurements, who attends public school in fifth grade after being homeschooled for his entire life. The book examines the true nature of empathy, compassion, acceptance, friendship and, ultimately, kindness.
The fifth-grade classes were so inspired by the story that they are undertaking a variety of projects, including a schoolwide recyclable bottle campaign to raise money for Smile Train, an international organization that provides corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates. They hope to raise $250, the cost of one surgery to help a child in need.
“Our scholars were moved with compassion by what they read in “Wonder” and they decided to make a real difference,” Principal Shawnée Warfield said. “It’s great to see their excitement.”
Kristin Klotz’s class researched the harmful effects of plastic to the environment and is creating presentations to convince others how recycling benefits the environment and to raise money for cleft repair. They are also creating picture collages on their tablets that include helpful information. Meanwhile, Doreen Cartwright’s class is creating public service announcements on their tablets to educate others on cleft lips and palates and the Smile Train organization. Meredith Richter’s class is collecting the recyclable bottles and monetary donations and using the information to create Keynote presentations on financial literacy.
Ms. Richter’s class was recently broken into groups in which some students counted out donated recyclable bottles, while others separated and counted loose change, consisting of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies that have been donated to help the school’s students reach their goal. Others were using their tablets to work on their presentations. The class is using specific financial vocabulary and creating spreadsheets to track the number of bottles collected, as well as the monetary donations collected.
Ms. Richter said she has seen organic learning firsthand in this process, as students take ownership of their work, incorporating images and special effects to individualize their Keynote presentations.
- Alden Terrace School fifth-grader Jonathan Cerda counted recyclable bottles in groups of twenty.
- Alden Terrace School fifth-grader Nabiha Yasir counted out nickels that were collected for Smile Train.
- Alden Terrace School fifth-grader Nathan Amisial counted the airdropped image of the coins his classmates collected to tally the amount.
- Alden Terrace School fifth-grade, student-artist Jayden Jones drew characters from the book “Wonder” on to a train outside of his classroom.
- Alden Terrace School fifth-graders worked collaboratively on a research presentation that highlighted the benefits of recycling.
- Alden Terrace School fifth-grader Aurianna Elder used her tablet to create a public service announcement for the Smile Train organization.
Photos courtesy of the Elmont District