For the second consecutive year, Grade 6 students chose to do their quarterly service project at the daycare center, Creche da Tia Neta. They visited the institution when they were in Grade 5 to donate toys and educational materials and to put in new windows in one of the rooms.
Students decided they wanted to help the day care center more. They visited with the owners to find out what they needed. Gustavo Coutinho (Grade 6) said, “it is important to listen to what the institution has to share. They are the ones living and working there, so they know more than us what their priorities are.” The same day, students organized activities and games to play with the kids at Creche da Tia Neta.
Once they agreed the only bathroom at the day care needed urgent renovation, they made an action plan during their Junior Youth Program classes to decide how they would raise funds, who would be in charge of specific tasks, and how they would make sure they would get the results they expected. They brainstormed and voted and decided to organize a bazaar. They sold clothes, shoes, decorations, and food after school on November 7, 2016.
They raised over R$ 2.000,00. With parents donating construction materials, we had enough to pay to renovate and redesign the bathroom, which now has three stalls and a changing counter. Olivia Hamilton (Grade 6) said that she felt proud, happy, grateful and accomplished with the project. “It is hard to explain how I feel, but I realized that sometimes we take our reality for granted and therefore I feel so accomplished to be able to make a real change.”
Mr. Kevin Jaramillo, Secondary School Principal, shared how proud he is. “It is mind-blowing to see our students putting themselves in other people’s shoes and taking service to another level. At an early age, they donated more than just money. They gave their time, effort, kindness and selflessness.”
Students want to continue serving the Creche da Tia Neta, offering them other projects in the areas of academics, arts, sports and infrastructure.