Lafayette Park students give back during “Day of Action”

Lafayette Park students give back during “Day of Action”
Lafayette Park students give back during “Day of Action”

      Lafayette Park International Elementary School conducted its first-ever “Day of Action” on Sept. 20th, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This event served as the kickoff to a school year of service learning in the community.

      “One of the mottos we focus on at Lafayette Park is ‘think globally, act locally,’ which is a principle of the International Baccalaureate program that really encourages students to explore how they can impact their personal surroundings and local community while thinking about larger societal concerns,” Lafayette Park Assistant Principal Nicole Geary explained. “This service project fit in wonderfully with that motto. Our students became ‘Action Heroes’ for the day as they worked to make our school more beautiful.”
Lafayette Park Day of Action

      During the “Day of Action”, Lafayette Park students worked to make improvements to the Lafayette Park campus. Throughout the school day, each grade level completed different projects.

      Preschoolers and kindergartners planted flowers in “Kindness Gardens” at the school. First-graders were responsible for painting garden stakes with empowering messages for the “Kindness Gardens.”

      Second- and 3rd-graders painted picnic tables and friendship benches for the school. Fourth-graders at Lafayette Park transformed raised beds at the school into flower gardens. The students planted spring bulbs, which eventually will be picked and delivered to nearby nursing homes.

      The 5th-grade class resurfaced the mulch on the preschool playground to make it easier and safer for Lafayette Park’s youngest students to play during recess.

      Mrs. Geary explained that the Lafayette Park students logged more than 44 total service hours during the “Day of Action,” while learning a great deal along the way.

      “We witnessed students taking leadership roles to guide their peers through each project,” Mrs. Geary noted. “Many of our students learned how to work collaboratively to reach a larger goal by the end of the day. The students were extremely excited and happy to give to others (specifically our 5th-grade students who were able to resurface the mulch for the preschool playground). Our staff overheard many conversations between students about the outcome of their hard work throughout the day.”

      After the “Day of Action,” Lafayette Park 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students approached their teachers to ask if they could water the flowers, weed the flower boxes, and continue to resurface the mulch as needed. Their requests allowed Mrs. Geary to know that the staff had achieved one of their goals.

      “We wanted our Lafayette Park students to appreciate their surroundings, and take pride in maintaining a clean, inviting, and kind school environment,” Mrs. Geary said.

      Teachers also incorporated lessons about philanthropy and service learning into their classrooms during the “Day of Action”. Throughout the remainder of the school year, Lafayette Park students will have the opportunity to complete service learning projects, which support various organizations in Kokomo, including the Kokomo Humane Society and the Howard County Recycling District.

      As they complete these projects, the Lafayette Park students will continue to learn about, and build on, the International Baccalaureate (IB) attitudes (respect, enthusiasm, commitment, tolerance, integrity, cooperation, independence, creativity, curiosity, empathy, appreciation, and confidence), as well as the IB Learner Profiles (inquirer, caring, thinker, balanced, principled, communicator, risk-taker, open-minded, knowledgeable, and reflective).

      Most importantly, the Lafayette Park students will learn what they are capable of accomplishing… even as children.

      “We want our students to understand that just because they are small doesn’t mean they can’t have an impact on the world around them,” Mrs. Geary explained. “We hope to inspire our students to become globally minded and amazing citizens of the world.”

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