03/17/10 — Meadow Lane students make hearts to help others

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Meadow Lane students make hearts to help others

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 17, 2010 1:46 PM

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From left, Destiny Reeser, Allison Mooney and Mackenzie Re join fellow multiage Meadow Lane Elementary School students in performing a song during an assembly last week. The students were celebrating the success of their annual Multiage Valentine Sale, which raised $1,500 for local charitable causes. Students in the K-1 and first and second grade classes made valentines and candy to sell in the school lobby.

There are many teachable moments in area classrooms.

At Meadow Lane Elementary School, one of those comes every year in the form of the Multiage Valentine Sale.

Students in the K-1 and 1-2 grade classrooms combine efforts to create an array of cards and homemade candies to sell in the school lobby.

And as much fun as the activity is for children -- cutting and pasting, practicing their artistic and writing skills -- the greatest reward extends beyond the money collected from the two-day sale.

It's in seeing where the proceeds go.

Last week, a reception was held for three recipients of this year's $1,500 profits.

"This fundraiser is really special to us," said Melissa Turnage, one of the multiage teachers. "Not only does it cover many social studies obligations but we hope they understand how important it is to help others."

Fellow teacher Jenny Heim said the project also allows the students to do outreach into the community. She highlighted one of the recipients, a young mother at the school with cancer.

"I met this mother at one of our Relay for Life events and she touched me with her heart, her tenacity and the way she's fighting a battle that hopefully you will never have to fight," she told the audience.

Mrs. Heim said a donation would be made in honor of Michelle Smith to Relay for Life, and luminarias would be purchased at the upcoming event in May.

Money will also be presented to MERCI Center, which has done much to respond to the recent tragedy in Haiti, creating disaster kits and other relief efforts.

Another family at the school was also recognized. The Hickses unexpectedly lost their dad, and their mother has had some health problems.

"We're rallying around them and their children," said Ms. Turnage. "This is the reason we do this."

Shirley Hicks, whose younger children Xavier and Aarani attend Meadow Lane, said they had appreciated the school's response in their time of need.

"To everyone who came to our house supporting us and to everyone who came to the house while I was in the hospital, thank you and God bless you," she said.

It was a poignant and emotional assembly, said Principal Celia James.

"Our students worked so hard preparing for the Valentine sale," she said. "I look forward to it every year. It's so much fun and so exciting. Part of the fun is knowing we're going to come out and make these presentations.

"It's very heartwarming to know that the children are helping to make life better for somebody else."

Such occasions also prove to be a valuable learning experience, Ms. James said.

"We also teach our children about being good citizens and helping their fellow man," she said. "There's lots of lessons that they learn in addition to what's in the standard course of study."