BSE fifth grade students recently took action by volunteering with NW Children’s Outreach, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping families in the Portland area and surrounding communities.
In lieu of a class gift, which historically has been some sort of permanent improvement or addition to the BSE campus, this year’s fifth grade parents decided to organize a gift of service-- some sort of hands-on experience for the fifth graders to do together with their classmates.
This endeavor was new to Bonny Slope, as it was a hands-on service project outside of school hours and off-site. Organizers weren’t sure what to expect. “The end of the school year is always a crazy time. We took a chance that our fifth grade families and students would be interested in giving an evening to help vulnerable children in our community and they delivered. I hope this can become a fifth grade tradition,” shares parent, Hannah Donohue. In order to give more students a chance to attend, three evening sessions were offered. In all, 41 fifth graders participated.
The impact of helping other kids wasn’t lost on BSE students. “You could see the moment when the kids understood why they were there-- it just clicked. There are families out there with close to nothing. Empathy and laughter filled the room, and the kids got to work. It gave me goosebumps,” recalls co-organizer, Jenna Dornblaser. Over 120 bags were filled during the three evenings, each headed straight to the hands of a child in need right here in Beaverton.
This event aligned nicely with the fifth grader’s exhibition timeline, as student groups had just recently began the action portion of their exhibition projects. “Our kids were so enthusiastic about filling bags for these families. So much care was taken into choosing items for each child,” adds co-organizer, Jessica Gaibler. “One of the best parts was hearing our BSE kids comment on how they want to go back and volunteer again soon! They really understood that their actions will have a meaningful impact on children in our community.”
These opportunities wouldn’t have been possible without the work of fifth grade parent organizers Jessica Gaibler, Kate Resch, Jenna Dornblaser and Hannah Donohue, as well as the students and parents who came out to help.