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Students learn importance of giving back

Submitted Photo Amanda Austin’s second grade class helped pack up Thanksgiving meals into bags for families in need and learned how important it is to be giving and thankful.

SILVER CREEK — Amanda Austin, second grade teacher at the Silver Creek Elementary School, has been teaching her students about important things in life: compassion, community service and giving back.

Mrs. Austin volunteered her classroom to house the food donated by families in the district to help out families in need, not knowing her students would become so interested in why she did this.

“They saw that I was collecting items in our room and asked questions. Those questions led to conversations about how we can help others and how it’s done out of kindness,” Mrs. Austin said. “They kept asking about the supplies and why we needed them and they wanted to help, so we bagged up Thanksgiving dinner supplies. I’m trying to teach them about community service, servant hearts and what giving back to others really means. I want these kids to learn that doing the right thing or the nice thing comes from the heart and not so we can get something out of it.”

The students had a blast setting up a mini “store” and packaging up all of the necessary ingredients for Thanksgiving meals to be delivered to families in need in the community. The class also had discussions about what it means to give back and how they can do that. Another topic brought up with the students from Mrs. Austin was about thankfulness and why people celebrate Thanksgiving.

“We talked about it and they said they were thankful for things like their parents, their siblings, grandparents, their homes, their clothes, our school and each other,” she said. “I was proud because there wasn’t a mention of toys or ‘stuff.'”

Though the class did a lot to prepare the bags of food for delivery, many other people in the school had a hand in setting this selfless act up. “This is something that Shannon Karcz, myself, Key Club, the school counselors, and the PTSA organized a few years ago,” Mrs. Austin said. “Our counseling staff is truly phenomenal. They’re the ones hand delivering the meals this year. I just volunteered to house all the supplies in my classroom and we ended up learning about giving and being thankful.”

Mrs. Austin seemed to be thankful that she was able to teach her students about topics so important, especially this Thanksgiving season, when so many families and community members are in need.

“I’m so incredibly proud to be a part of this community but I’m over the moon proud of my students,” she said. “My heart is filled with Black Knight Pride! Because of our wonderful families, we have the opportunity to help more than 50 families have a good meal this Thanksgiving.”

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