The Student Cabinet from Columbia Middle School has been working very hard on worldwide and local community service projects. The first project was with an organization called Free the Children, which partners with communities to eliminate obstacles that prevent children from accessing education. The village we are working with is in Ghana where 37% of children are involved in child labor. The Student Cabinet spent two months making and selling friendship bracelets to raise money for education in Ghana. This project raised $316 to help build schools, train teachers, and provide health education.
Our local community service project benefits the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. It is a home and supportive community for families of children with life-threatening illnesses who are receiving specialized treatment at local hospitals. Our project involved making snack grab bags for children and families staying at the house or those who frequently visit. Target has partnered with us by donating money to buy supplies for the snack bags. They generously donated $100 to cover the costs. The students drew pictures, colored, and decorated each bag with stickers to make them fun for the children. We filled them with all sorts of snacks and will deliver them to the Ronald McDonald House this spring.
For our on-campus service project we decided to promote energy conservation. We started a “Lights Out” campaign: every Friday, during the last period of the day, we asked all teachers and staff members to turn off the lights in their classrooms or offices. This has not only brought awareness to how much electricity we can save throughout the day but has also brought “light” to the idea that no act is too small.
Our global and community service efforts have been recognized by the creators of We Day California, and we have been invited to participate in an inspirational event. We Day, which is partnered with the international charity Free the Children, is a movement meant to empower our youth to become agents of change through a year-long educational initiative called We Act. The California We Day event will be held at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Wednesday March 26th. It will be attended by thousands of middle and high school students from all over California. Also in attendance will be famous actors, musicians, and speakers who are ambassadors of global change. The list of speakers and performers that have been released so far include Martin Luther King III, Magic Johnson, Selena Gomez, Orlando Bloom, Seth Rogen, Martin Sheen, Natalie Portman, The Tenors, and many more. Our students are very excited about this event!
Our Student Cabinet has partaken in these opportunities wholeheartedly, and we are always looking for other chances to make a difference. Through our efforts this year we have gained a greater understanding of our roles in the community and want to continue helping Columbia Middle School and the world we are part of become a better place.
Contributed by Julie Autsen