Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wakeland reaches out to homeless:

At age 8, Zachary Schwab might be small, but he’s got big ideas that he’s put into motion.

The third-grade student at Wakeland Elementary School of International Studies recently started a campaign to collect personal hygiene products and other needed items for the local homeless community.

Toothbrushes, towels, blankets, socks and soap are just a few items he and 17 of his classmates are collecting at their International Baccalaureate school on 27th Street East in Bradenton.

“The campaign stemmed from an action cycle idea by Zachary as he thought of ways that he could make a difference in the community,” said his mother, Melissa Schwab.

When he shared the idea with his teacher, Lynne Kralik, and his classmates, they quickly became enthused and were more than happy to pitch in, she said.

“This is nothing he was told to do,” said Wakeland Principal Chuck Fradley. “The epitome of the instruction is when the child takes something they learned in class and without a teacher or parent goes out and acts on it on their own, giving back to the world and making it a better place, completing the action cycle. They’ve learned something, decided what they wanted to do and now they are acting on it. That’s what Zach did.”

So far his class has collected about 57 toothbrushes, Zachary said Monday.

“But lately no one has been bringing anything in,” he said. “They (homeless) need all the help they can get because some people don’t make it through the winter.”

The International Baccalaureate program involves an innovative curriculum taught by specially trained teachers that focuses on six subject areas: language, social studies, mathematics, science/technology, arts and physical education.

Students learn basic academics but also who they are, how they can be a resource and the importance of global initiatives, Schwab said.

Through the end of the month, Zach and his classmates will continue to collect donations.

They plan to distribute their donations in mid-November, Schwab said, at Bayside Community Church on Saturday mornings during a weekly outreach program in which the church provides a free breakfast to about 100 homeless people.

“I want our church to be an organization that adds value to our community,” said Randy Bezet, Bayside Community Church pastor.

“I love Bradenton and Sarasota. We are interested in helping make it a better place to live, not just within the four walls of our church but in very practical ways that have nothing to do with our church.”

by Natalie Neysa Alund Bradenton Herald published October 27, 2009

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?