HIBBING — Within the first two months of this academic year, students of Jeanne Bymark’s Parenting Class at Hibbing High School have voted on and executed two community service projects.
“Many of the students that take this course want to work with children in their future careers — be it elementary teacher, doctor, pediatric nurse, etc.,” Bymark explained.
“The goal of the class is to educate students in the responsibilities of parenthood along with informing them of the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and moral sequence of growth within children 0-5. They then learn the best ways to encourage and respond in these respective areas.”
Students selected to read to local kindergarten and preschool students, as well as to make and donate blankets to families in need. The class split into two groups, and team leaders were chosen to lead each group.
The storytellers formed four groups and read to young learners at either Washington Elementary or Assumption School. The books they read included: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Bats at the Beach,” “Are You My Mother?,” “Early Bird & the Worm,” “Scaredy Cat Splat” and “Sam & the Firefly.”
The high schoolers also conducted various activities — designing a caterpillar, making bat suckers and coloring pictures — with the children as they read to them.
“With regards to the students who went into the classrooms to read, they loved it and began to share what the students did and said while they were there,” said Bymark. “It solidified for many of them that they want to work with children.”
The blanket-makers opted to craft “tie blankets” — from cutting fabric to knotting the cozy creations. The nine-student team also raised its own funds. They collected money from faculty through written and face-to-face requests to “sponsor a blanket.”
The effort resulted in nearly $300.
“The students reaction to the contributions from the teachers was ‘overwhelmed’ that their teachers would believe in a project that they wanted to carry out,” said Bymark.
It took the students three days to tie all 23 blankets. They delivered them last week to The Salvation Army in Hibbing, where Capt. Theresa Becto accepted them and thanked the entire group.
Proud of her students, Bymark said all students had fun and are grateful for everyone’s help.
“My goal as a teacher is to have each of my classes select a community service project to show them how they can use the information gained in the classroom to benefit their community in a ‘hands-on’ way and make a positive difference,” she added.