JAG Students Giving Back to the Community
JAG Students Giving Back to the Community
Keri Leindecker
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

James A. Garfield Elementary is very proud to be a Leader in Me school, one where students and staff work together hand-in-hand to create a culture anchored in leadership.  Successful leadership requires many traits, including, respectful interaction, responsibility, kindness, and communication. One need look no further than our JAG students and staff to find all of these traits on display each and every day!

One important pathway toward achieving successful leadership skills is through the planning and participation in service projects for the community. As of the midpoint of this academic year, JAG students and staff have amassed quite an impressive list of activities that benefit our community. A few of these activities are as follows:

-Under the direction of Mrs. Rybak, third-grade students excitedly planned and implemented a ‘pajama-drive’ to benefit the Caring for Kids Adoption and Foster Agency. Through their caring and hard work, these JAG students were able to learn the benefits of helping those in need.

-As Veterans Day approached, JAG students were moved to show their heartfelt appreciation for all that our community’s veterans have done for our great nation. JAG students created heartfelt thank-you cards showing just how much our veterans’ service means to the young people at James A. Garfield Elementary

-In December, students and staff worked closely together to organize a collection of food items for the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard. After obtaining a list of needed items, students focused their efforts, classroom-by-classroom and grade-by-grade toward a common goal. Mr. Rado was the primary faculty organizer, assisting students in the process of food collection and truck-loading. The food collection was a success, amassing 1500 items!

-As a result of the Leader in Me program, JAG Elementary has created a student leadership team (SLT). This team, comprised of students in grade 3 through grade 6, meets regularly to brainstorm ideas and plan for future school-wide activities. What follows are two great activities planned by SLT:

--Under the direction of Mrs. Cupples, the student leadership team organized a candy collection for residents of local nursing homes. Team members placed signs detailing the candy collection throughout the school. The team placed collection baskets throughout the school…and the whole JAG Elementary community excitedly joined in. SLT member Joy Justice shared that “it really felt good do something special for them”.

-The student leadership team was hard at work again for the planning of a book drive benefitting the Center of Hope and Kent Social Services, this time under the guidance of Mrs. Ring. With signs displayed and collections bins in place, JAG leadership team members encouraged their fellow students to work hard to make the book drive a success. Once again, JAG students didn’t disappoint. The book drive was a rousing success!

Up next will be a penny drive to benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.  It is so exciting to convey some of the many positive activities that JAG students are leading.  Best summed up by 3rd grader SadieMae Ewell, “We all just really like to help other people.  It feels good.”