Emma McIntyre and Anniese Beeler are taking advantage of their Authentic Learning Class at Davis County Middle School to conduct a community service project benefitting the Women’s Crisis Shelter in Ottumwa.
The Authentic Learning Opportunities offered by Davis County Schools are bringing real world issues into the classroom, said Davis County Middle School Instructor Stephanie Bassett. “The goal is to get kids involved in the community and find ways to help or share.”
McIntire and Beeler chose to work together on a project to help the less fortunate. “Our first idea was to help the homeless,” McIntyre said, “but we really couldn’t pinpoint the homeless. Natasha Schafer (study hall supervisor) gave us the idea of helping the Crisis Center.”
Beeler said they called the Crisis Center and indicated their willingness to help. They learned what the Center needed; then sought approval from Bassett and Principal Brad McCloskey before publicizing their project.
Beeler said she and Emma wrote a letter to the student body, which is being read during 6th hour announcements every day. The letter explains the project to the students and asks for donations.
The letter was first read to the student body on Tuesday, Nov. 19, and by Wednesday, Nov. 20, students had already donated 109 items. By Nov. 27, 723 items had been contributed.
As the items come in, Beeler and McIntyre sort them into the following bins: food, toys, clothes, hygiene, and miscellaneous. Bassett said several fifth graders were so excited about the project they even donated brand new books from their most recent book order.
As part of the learning project, the girls must keep records. “We have a spreadsheet and count the number of items each person brings in and how many people donate each day,” McIntyre said. “We also keep records on how many students in each class contribute.”
Students earn COY (Class of the Year) points by contributing to community service projects, Bassett explained.
As the donations roll in, the girls are now working with McCloskey to arrange transportation to take the items to Ottumwa.
Both girls are feeling a sense of satisfaction as they consider the good that is coming from their project and agree that Authentic Learning is their favorite class.
The girls said the Crisis Center serves women and children from Appanoose, Davis, Jasper, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Poweshiek, Wapello, and Wayne Counties.
The Crisis Center is in need of jackets, coats, mittens, socks, pants, bed sheets, pillows, shoes, sweatshirts, blankets, brooms, mops, dish soap, bleach, hair ties, combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, and hair brushes, as well as non-perishable foods.
Any members of the public wanting to donate to the girls’ Crisis Center project may contact McIntyre at 641-208-7383 or Bassett at 641-208-5362.
Other Davis County classes are involved in Authentic Learning projects as well. See page 6A.