Ronald McDonald House Residents Treated to a Party
In the most comprehensive Community Engagement project yet, Mr. Woodward’s and Mrs. Harris’s fifth grade class planned and implemented an event that took four months to complete. It all started with brainstorming ideas for a service project that would benefit the residents of Ronald McDonald House in Pasadena. The students had to consider how to finance their idea, how to figure out what items residents might like, and how much time they would need to accomplish their ambitious proposal. An action plan for a bake sale at High Point was soon hatched. This included drafting a request to Mr. Stern, Head of School, for permission to hold the sale at school and making posters to attract customers. Additional funds came from earning money for doing chores at home—a proposition eagerly agreed to by parents. The bake sale and chores yielded a take of $1,400! The next step offered even more of a challenge: what to purchase with the money. After careful research and debate, the class decided on the following list: reusable grocery bags; cake mix with frosting and cake pans; plates, forks and napkins for 8 people; balloons, Jenga, Mad Libs, and a coloring book; and markers, pencils, erasers, and a pencil sharpener, not to mention an emoji stress ball. In addition, the bags were stuffed with playing cards, Emoji bracelets, ring pops, and hand lotion. One very practical item also went into the totes—collapsible laundry hampers for each family. The bags were topped off with hand-made cards from each student. Next, fifth grade moms Leslie Marshall and Phyllis Byrd pitched in to help with the shopping.
Fortified with lollipops and doughnuts, the class spent hours on Valentine’s Day creating greeting cards for each tote bag. When the afternoon rolled around, all 40 fifth graders manned an assembly line that stretched across two classrooms. These industrious kids grabbed one of everything and began packing tote bags—30 in total.
With so many items going to Ronald McDonald House, it was a challenge to make sure everything fit in the bags. This involved some unpacking and rearranging to complete the task. When all was said and done, there was one more step left: the bounty filled an entire car front-to-back and was delivered just in time for dinner at RMH.
Not only did the students learn practical lessons in finance and planning, they had a chance to reflect on what it means to help others in times of need.
Carissa C. stated, “The best part of this project was packing the party bags. I feel that this project was important because we are helping kids who are sick and giving them a party. I learned that helping is an awesome thing to do when kids are sick.”
“The best part of this project was knowing that the bags were going to a good cause. This project was important because the kids can play and have fun in the hospital or at the Ronald McDonald House. I learned that helping a charity can be fun,” added Ben M.
Jerry S. had a good take on the project: “The bake sale for the Ronald McDonald House was my favorite part of our project because it was almost like learning how to run a business. It was important because we were raising money for people who need it the most.”
“The most gratifying part of our community service was making and selling brownies. The project was important because we got money and supplies to give to the people who need it. I learned that working hard is worth it if it helps people in need.” Well done, Sunshine H!