Students at Keenburg, Unaka raise money and cheer for Ronald McDonald House in honor of MLK
Published 10:05 am Saturday, January 17, 2015
As tomorrow marks the National Day of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., some elementary school students in Carter County spent the past week learning how they can help serve others.
Caitlin Hughes serves as the school counselor at Keenburg and Unaka Elementary schools. When she decided to have the kids work on a service project, she thought what better project than to have the children help other children?
Over the past week, Hughes worked with students in kindergarten through fourth grade at both schools to help raise money for Ronald McDonald House and to help bring smiles to the children staying there while they receive treatment.
“I asked the fourth-graders what kids at the Ronald McDonald House would need to feel better and they said toys,” Hughes said. “When I asked the younger kids they said smiles and funny jokes.”
So Hughes decided to split the children into two different project groups. Those in second through fourth grades collected aluminum can pull tabs.
“The Johnson City Ronald McDonald House collects the pull tabs and they recycle them for the money,” Hughes said.
For the younger students, Hughes relied on them to provide the smiles and funny jokes.
“Kindergarten and first grade are going to write cards and letters and I will be delivering them to the kids at the Ronald McDonald House,” Hughes said.
All of the children have responded really well to the project, Hughes said, and have been excited to help other children.
“It’s a really cool thing to ask kids ‘what can you do to serve others?’ and they say ‘just be nice,’ ” Hughes said. “That is the most basic of things. I’m so proud of them for how hard they have worked on this and how much they want to help others.”
On Tuesday, a group of first graders at Unaka Elementary School took part in the project.
Hughes began by reading the students the book “Mogie, the Heart of the House,” which is about a dog who lives at the Ronald McDonald House and helps children feel better.
She then asked the students what they thought would help the children at Ronald McDonald House to feel better. Several of the students chimed in suggesting presents, flowers and cards. Hughes then asked the students if they would like to make cards to send and they all cheered and said “yes.”
The students broke out their art supplies and were soon busy drawing hearts, flowers and rainbows, which many of the students explained would help the sick children feel better.