– In the wake of the Asian tsunami tragedy, a group of students
at Mount Madonna School are turning their feelings of concern and
helplessness into action.
Gilroy – In the wake of the Asian tsunami tragedy, a group of students at Mount Madonna School are turning their feelings of concern and helplessness into action.
Teacher Sarah Peterson and her class of sixth-graders have spent the past few weeks organizing a tsunami relief fundraiser that will take place Saturday in Santa Cruz. Using their own ideas and contacts, the students created a complete fundraiser that will include a bake sale, silent auction, carnival, rummage sale and children’s games.
The project is part of Mount Madonna’s middle school curriculum, which combines learning about relevant issues with service projects.
Students identify and explore current social and environmental problems in their communities, then study the history and impact of these problems. Finally, the students explore possible solutions by planning, executing and evaluating their own service projects.
For example, students begin the year with a unit of study on local water issues, which wraps up with a beach cleanup. Other topics have included homelessness, hunger, litter, animal welfare and child labor.
When Peterson’s students first talked about the tsunami, the teacher said many of them said they felt helpless but still wanted to offer a hand.
So, the class sat down together and began planning. One student volunteered to talk to a family friend, who was also a local farmer, to get produce for the fundraiser. Another student said her parents could contribute wine from their winery for an auction basket. The momentum kept rolling, and the students are all set for Saturday.
“My students are empowered to make a difference,” Peterson said. “That is the real lesson.”
Mt. Madonna 6th-graders.
Tsunami relief fundraiser.
Saturday, 11am to 4pm
Calvary Episcopal Church, 532 Center St., Santa Cruz.