At McKinley Elementary School, teachers go above and beyond making sure students succeed in more than just academics. They also help instill in them a love for helping their community. On Thursday, December 19th, three McKinley sixth graders, Kendra Bueno, Chloe Gundrum, and Emma Steele put what they learned into action by making a donation to the Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA).
Steele, one of the students who helped organize the donation, shared that she and two of her friends came up with the idea while thinking about a project they did in fifth grade. “Last year, me, Kendra, and someone else collected stuffed animals for the Salvation Army, and we wanted to build off that and include someone else,” she explained.
During the month of December, the trio worked diligently to collect items to donate. Each day, they reminded students to bring what they could during the morning announcements. “On the intercom every day, we would tell students to bring in donations,” elaborated Bueno. Steele added that the group made a video to share on McKinley’s Facebook page and recorded a call to go out to all parents to serve as extra reminders to bring in items for MCSA.
To help the group gather donations, McKinley also chose donating to MCSA as their monthly gratitude project. In previous months, McKinley has written thank you letters and donated coffee and donuts to the construction workers building the addition on their school and has collected supplies for the Muscatine Humane Society.
By working hard to promote their cause, Bueno, Gundrum, and Steele brought in a lot of donations. “Each morning, we went around to classrooms to pick up donations, and almost every day, we got at least a bag,” said Gundrum. In the end, McKinley students ended up donating several full bins and baskets of supplies, which will truly help MCSA serve people in need.
After making the donation, the three organizers felt pleased with what they accomplished. “We feel good about it,” reflected Gundrum. “At first, we were worried about it . . . but towards the end, we got a lot.”
McKinley Principal Joelle McConnaha took pride in the work these three students put in to make this donation too. “One of the things we work on at Madison is everyone is a leader, and this project shows their community leadership,” she stated.
During this time of giving, many groups large and small have worked hard to make sure everyone in Muscatine has what they need. Through their fundraiser, McKinley Elementary students have shown that kids care just as much about giving back as anyone, and that their efforts can have positive impacts too.