Fifteen members of our student council have paired up with struggling third graders from the Academy for Science & Foreign Language in Huntsville, Alabama. Our year-long service focus is literacy. With their literacy pals in Alabama, our scholars have regular Skype sessions to practice multiplication facts, study vocabulary words, and practice spelling words. Through the Skype sessions and information sheets, our scholars are learning about their pals in order to write personalized picture books featuring their literacy pals as the main character. Each book has a theme (don't give up, don't judge a book by its cover, believe in yourself, etc.) and is being written by our scholars for their pals. These books are in the process of being edited and published! Over spring break, our 15 scholars are traveling to Huntsville to meet their pals and share the books with them through a story hour over lunch! Once the books have been read, our scholars will be giving them to their pals to keep. While visiting with our pals is taking us to Huntsville from Louisville, we are going to take advantage of positive experiences while we're away. We will be visiting the U.S. Rocket and Space Center in Huntsville as well as stopping in Nashville on the way home. After learning about Greece, our scholars are really looking forward to visiting the Parthenon. As a teacher, this trip is really about exposing my scholars to the world outside of Louisville as well as humbling their hearts in service to others.
In addition to the hours of service dedicated to making this upcoming trip a success, our student council has a very busy year of service. We began the year by hosting a Veterans' Day lunch and assembly for members of our Frost family (both family members and staff). Then, we gave tours and fielded questions from incoming fifth graders to help ease their mind about coming to middle school. Also, we hosted a clothing drive for the Clothing Assistance Program that ended with eight of our members volunteering at CAP after dropping off our donation; the CAP director said that our donation was one of the largest single donations they've ever accepted! In the month of February, our scholars kept their service focus in house by giving every Frost scholar and staff member a Valentine card and gift as well as organizing gifts and mementos for our school counselors during Counselor's Week! This month, we are hosting a book drive which will benefit Books for Belize through Message in a Book; only a week in, and we have already collected over 600 books! Coming up, we are organizing/hosting a reading hour with a local elementary school. Every elementary student from Layne Elementary will be paired up with a Frost Falcon and have a story read aloud. All of these group efforts are also being paired with individual service hours. Every student council member is committed to a minimum of five individual service hours, and most scholars have already far exceeded the required number of hours. On their own, they are volunteering at the local library, their former elementary schools, their churches, and to help clean up the waterfront after the recent flooding as well as many other endeavors. This diverse group of kids is truly special!