Friday, May 25, 2018

Students at Windham Primary School learn the importance of giving back to the community by Lorraine Glowczak

The students at Windham Primary School held a Community Day Assembly on Thursday, May 18 at the Windham High School auditorium, to show their appreciation and to give back to community organizations that have given to the students throughout the year. The first through third graders, who raised funds and learned about community accountability and character education in the process, collectively raised and contributed $7,000 as their way of saying, “thank you.” this was the first community day event established by the students, it is the goal of the educators and students alike that the event will become an annual project. “We wanted to help build a sense of community within our school and hope that this becomes an annual event,” stated Michelle Jordan, one of the volunteer coordinators. “Because of our large size, we rarely hold a school wide assembly. This event was designed for two reasons: 1) to bring the school together, and 2) to teach our students the importance of community programs and supporting those programs.”

The recipient organizations that received funding for their contribution and assistance to the students at Windham Primary School include: Windham Public Library supported by the kindergarten class, Ledgewood Nursing Center supported by the first-grade class, the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals supported by the second-grade class and the Windham Historical Society supported by the third-grade class. All organizations were very appreciative of the donations given to them including the members of the Windham Historical Society (WHS). “This very generous gift will help us a raise a blacksmith shop as well as complete the South Windham Library,” stated Susan Simonson, President of the WHS.  “This building will house South Windham Village and train station historical collections. To the third-graders, the Historical Society shows grateful appreciation for their donation, and to all of the primary grades and staff we applaud the lessons of support and involvement given to the community.”

To raise funds, the students participated in a “Race for the Community” day. “They each had a sponsor sheet to have friends and family members sponsor them for the number of laps they ran or walked around the [high school] track,” Jordan explained. “On Friday, May 4, the whole school went out in groups of 5 or 6 and spent 30 minutes on the track. Kids had paper sneakers that were hole punched for each lap they completed. Then students collected donations based on the laps they ran. enjoyed participating in the community day event. Not only did they learn the importance of community but the significance of acting upon the passions they carry for life. Lilly Steele, a second-grade student loved the fact that they donated to the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. “It was nice to raise money for the animals because I love the horses and like patting them.”
Parents were proud of the students and saw the importance of what their children learned in the community give back effort. “I think it’s been an eye opener for them and you can tell they were proud to have been part of giving back,” stated Mel Oldakowski who is Steele’s mother.

During the assembly, Dr. Karl Rhoads complimented the students for their hard work and explained why community is so important. “We are very fortunate at Windham Primary School that has a supportive community that gives to us in many ways. And all the organizations that were funded today, give to us. This is an opportunity for us as a school to give back. That’s the reason for Community Day and the Community Day Assembly.”

The school donated the following: Windham Public Library received $1163.05, Ledgewood received $1692.15, MSSPA received $2412.80 and Historical Society received $1723.

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