St. Cecilia Fifth Graders – Impacting the Children of Shelby County

Service Learning at St. Cecilia

“Kind of sad. It also made me feel so blessed for all of the food we have.”  A fifth grade girl shifted her weight as she shared her feelings. She belongs to Kathy Wustefeld’s fifth grade class at St. Cecilia in Northern Kentucky.

In November as the students excitedly returned from Thanksgiving break and eagerly stated their impatience for Christmas break, Ms. Wustefeld shared some information about students in Shelby County. She painted a raw picture of the students afraid to go home for a two week Christmas break due to the lack of food in their homes. These same children eat breakfast, lunch and a late afternoon snack at school. On weekends they are offered backpacks of snacks to take home with them.

The impact of this picture empowered the fifth grade class to make a difference. A raffle to raise money, a book drive, and a jacket drive were conducted at the school. For the raffle, students donated items from their homes. The students also gained a multitude of skills by encouraging the student body to buy tickets through classroom presentations, morning announcements, and posters created in art class. As students of all ages visited the raffle table, fifth graders paired up with kindergartners to help them with the process. A student describes his experience:

“It took a lot of patience because the kindergartens didn’t know what they wanted. But it was also fun and they were cute.”

Through the raffle 2,345 tickets were purchased, raising $586.30. The students learned a probability lesson by equating the chances for winners for each basket based on the number of tickets they had entered. They also used line graphs to measure which basket was the most popular and which was the least.

As a culmination, students prepared written reflections and made video clips to highlight their experiences… moving forward a little more grateful than before.

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