May 20, 2018
School & Youth
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  • Kindergarteners Joseph Gavrilov (left) and Maggie Veasel (right) assemble the hygiene bags with the donations.
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    Kindergarteners Joseph Gavrilov (left) and Maggie Veasel (right) assemble the hygiene bags with the donations.

Pasadena Elementary Kindergarteners Donate Hygiene Bags To The Homeless

Maya Pottiger
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January 23, 2018
At Pasadena Elementary School, every student participates in a grade-wide service learning project.
 
In January, the four kindergarten classes, totaling about 70 children, collected toiletry items to create hygiene bags. For a week, students were asked to bring in different items that would make up the hygiene bags. Each day had a different item, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer or wipes, and warm socks.
 
“The plan is for them to go to Arundel House of Hope because they coordinate all of the Winter Relief shelters at all of the churches throughout the county,” said Jennifer Quirino, principal of Pasadena Elementary. “Our plan is to take it to them, and then they can distribute to the churches as they deem necessary.”
 
Close to 100 bags will be donated, said Michele Noble, a guidance counselor at Pasadena Elementary who helped coordinate the kindergarten service learning project.
 
However, some of the students were so excited about donating “that they went beyond the suggestions that we had of items each day that were recommended,” Noble said. The additional items will also be donated to the House of Hope to use “however they see fit.”
The most rewarding part of the project, Noble said, was to see how the kids could work together to make a difference in the community.
 
“The whole point of our service learning projects is to help them see beyond themselves and looking into the community to see how they can make a difference,” Noble said.
 
The service learning projects have been part of the school-wide curriculum for the last two years, Quirino said. Every year, each grade does a different project that impacts various parts of the community.
 
This year, the first-graders are participating in Operation Welcome Home. The students are making cards to bring to the airport when one of the international military flights returns to the United States. The second-graders ran the holiday drive where they collected new toys, hats and mittens. The third-graders are collecting items to donate to Autism Speaks, and the fifth-graders ran the Harvest for the Hungry food drive.
 
The projects are usually decided over the summer so students can look ahead to see what they’re doing at the beginning of the school year, Quirino said. Sometimes the projects are chosen based on parents and other contacts in the community.
 
This year, the fourth-grade class is doing Pennies for Patients, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
 
“We actually have someone in our community that is a fourth-grader who has had leukemia, so we were able to connect it there,” Quirino said.
 
Noble said the most rewarding part for students is understanding they can make a difference in the community.
 
“I think for our students, it’s helped them to see that others are less fortunate than they are, and to be more aware of how they can make a difference,” Noble said.

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