Students at Bel-Aire Elementary School are taking steps to spread kindness throughout their community, according to school officials.
The school is now host to the Kindness Club, which is made up of 10 third- to fifth-grade students who want to help others, according to club sponsor Kristen Sisk.
Sisk, one of the registered nurses for the school system, said that the club came about following the inception of various other clubs around the district.
“Every school has after-school programs,” she said. For instance, Bel-Aire also has an archery team, a math team, an art club and book club, all of which “offer extra assistance in areas where a student may be having a little difficulty.”
Sisk said that she felt the need for a service-oriented club.
“I want the students to think of other people and how they can be a help to their community,” she said.
This seems to be the first club of its kind in Tullahoma City Schools, though Sisk said her knowledge of the goings on in other schools is limited.
“I am not aware of another club similar to this one, but I hope it will catch on at each school,” she said.
The club helps the community in a variety of ways, said Sisk.
The students routinely help pick up litter around the Bel-Aire campus. The club members can also be utilized in the classroom as teacher helpers, Sisk said.
The club has also “adopted” Life Care Center for monthly art projects.
“Our goal is for each resident to receive a surprise every month,” Sisk said.
The surprises are typically different art projects that the students make themselves with the help of Sisk, such as birthday cards and door hangers.
“In our first few meetings, we made 100 birthday cards so that each resident would receive at least one birthday card,” Sisk said. “We now make 100 door hangers each month so that each resident has something colorful to hang on their door.”
October’s door hanger was a pumpkin; November’s is turkeys.
Additionally, Sisk said, the students also crafted American flags that were given to all the veterans residing in Life Care Center on Veterans Day.
The students are also working on Christmas tree decorations to pass out in December, Sisk said.
The decorations aren’t the only impact the students are making with Life Care, however.
According to Sisk, the club will also be participating in Operation Christmas Child, an international charity tasked with providing needed hygiene and school supplies and toys to children living in areas affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, famine and disease.
This project, as the others, is something the children are “proud” of, according to Sisk.
“The children work very hard on their projects,” she said, “and they are proud that they are spreading a little cheer to someone each month.”
Benefiting the animal shelter
The latest effort the children have put their minds toward is a donation drive for the Tullahoma Animal Shelter, according to Sisk.
The idea was completely the students’, she said.
“When the club first started meeting, I asked the students to think of some projects we could do for the community. A food drive for the animal shelter was suggested at that time,” Sisk said.
While this is the first time the club is collecting donations for the animal shelter, it may not be the last.
Depending on the success of the drive and the availability of the students, Sisk said that it might be possible to have another drive in the spring.
“We have not specifically talked about another food drive for the animal shelter, however it certainly could be something we could do in the spring,” Sisk said.
Most of the time, she said, the students’ time is devoted on the crafts they provide to Life Care Center.
The shelter is in need of food, blankets, toys and towels, according to Sisk.
Donations may be brought to Bel-Aire Elementary School, located at 504 Stone Blvd., through Friday, Nov. 17.
Erin McCullough may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.