Boone County Schools: Students Across the District Make an Impact with Service Learning Projects

Using academic objectives in efforts of meeting community needs, service learning has been making impacts across Boone County throughout the school year with no intentions of letting up. Boone County High School’s art program used pumpkins donated by The Parks Department to carve Jack-O-Lanterns for the 28th Annual Boone County Parks Jack-O-Lantern Walk in October.

Thornwilde Elementary School’s Girls on the Run team held a “Running for Valerie” event, raising more than $3,000 for Valerie McNamara. The former coach and teacher suffered severe injuries in 2016, when a building partially collapsed in Covington.

Ockerman Middle School eighth graders recently packed nearly 30 shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, clothing and personal care items as well as notes of encouragement for Operation Christmas Child. For many of the children receiving the shoeboxes, it’s the only gift they will receive during the holidays. To date, Operation Christmas Child has gifted more than 146 million shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories. This year, organizers at Samaritan’s Purse are hoping that groups and individuals will gift 12-million shoeboxes to children in countries like Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine. To learn how you can be a part of Operation Christmas Child, click here. North Pointe Elementary Student Council shoeboxes have been processed and given tracking numbers so students can follow each box on its journey to a child in need.

It’s not too late to build your own $5 to $10 shoeboxes to give to those experiencing homelessness here in Northern Kentucky.

Holiday Service – It’s not too late to Pitch-In!

As a service learning project, local elementary students helped children who are “food insecure” receive sustenance during winter break by hosting a school wide food drive and tracking the progression of each class using bar graphs to be donated to Childhood Food Solutions.

You’re not too late to be a volunteer during this holiday season.

Modo Yoga Cincinnati, Clifton & Northern Kentucky

  • When: December 23rd 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Where: 3527 Columbia Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH 
  • What: We’ll gather at the Cincinnati studio to assemble bags, which we’ll then divide up among anyone who would like to help distribute them to the community.

Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky & Southwest Ohio

  • When: December 25th 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Where: 1 W. Rivercenter Blvd, Covington, KY 41011
  • What: Help serve a free Christmas Day dinner to about 2,000 people in Northern Kentucky

It also isn’t too late to build a $5 to $10 shoeboxes to gift to those experiencing homelessness here in Greater Cincinnati during this holiday season. For more volunteer opportunities, visit United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

North Pointe Elementary Student Council Participates in Operation Christmas Child

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God” – Bob Pierce, founder and leader of Samaritan’s Purse.

Bob Pierce not only believed the story of the Good Samaritan, he based an entire nondenominational evangelical Christian organization around the parable. He has national leadership teams train pastors and community leaders who want to share the message of the Gospel and bless children in over 100 countries.

During this season of giving, the Student Council at North Pointe Elementary of Boone County School District partnered with the Samaritan’s Purse to take on Operation Christmas Child. Engaging their peers, student council members created fliers inviting everyone from their school to donate items they could include in shoeboxes to be given to boys and girls living in areas hit by hurricanes and floods. Donations were collected over the course of a month to prepare over 30 shoeboxes for the students’ first international service learning project.

Operation Christmas Child collects shoebox gifts—filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. To date, Operation Christmas Child has gifted more than 146 million shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories. In 2017 Operation Christmas Child is hoping to gift 12 million shoeboxes to children in countries like Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine. To learn how you can be a part of Operation Christmas Child, click here.

Groups and individuals around the world are touching the lives of children and families through similar donations. National Collection week has passed, but it’s not too late to pack a shoebox! You can still build a shoebox online and track its destination. Imagine if we packed shoeboxes and gave to those experiencing homelessness here in Kentucky. For ideas on how you can extend this project year-round click here.

Shari “The Bag Lady” visits St. Philip School

It’s been almost two years since Shari Petrie, of Latonia, became known as “The Bag Lady.” Her passion as an environmentalist led her to crochet mats for people experiencing homelessness. The bags she uses may otherwise block the flow of streams, be hazardous to the metabolism of living organisms or pack landfills as the plastic used to make them does not break down overtime. Researchers estimate that 269,000 tons of plastic float on the ocean’s surface.

Shari and her recycled treasures
Shari showing Mrs. Twehues’ & Mrs. Dee’s students how to make plarn

In science class, students at St. Philip School learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the negative impacts that plastic has on our waterways. Students then invited “The Bag Lady” to help them tie what they learned in the classroom with ways they can give back to the community. Shopping bags separated by the school’s 2nd graders were used by Mrs. Dee’s 4th grade and Mrs. Twehues’ 5th/6th split class to make plarn, plastic yarn. It takes just a few easy steps to produce plarn: fold a shopping bag in fourths, cut the folded bag into thirds and the final step is to slip knot the cut pieces together. To participate in creating plarn, join “The Bag Lady” at Mackenzie’s Work Shop January 12, 2018.

students making plarn
students making plarn

Northern Kentucky University freshman, Lexi Twehues, volunteered to help students make plarn. Students and teachers engaged their community, asking the school and parish members to donate plastic bags to be processed into plarn. Using an US Q, Shari will crochet the plarn into four “bean bag” chairs.  “The Bag Lady” expects to use anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 bags to complete one bean bag chair. All four chairs will be donated to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum at the Cincinnati Museum Center.  Children’s Museum staff is excited to receive this donation and believe the chairs will help inspire visitors to recycle.

Students from St. Philip School with Shari “The Bag Lady”