From Prince William County Schools:
For the fouth year, students in Government Teacher Christina Ross’ class took on a service project with gusto, getting a dynamic lesson in government, marketing, economics, social media, and the Fourth Estate (news media; "The Press").
Through their extensive outreach efforts and widespread community support, the students collected nearly 400 pairs of shoes and $2,000 to buy more shoes for students at Yorkshire and West Gate elementary schools.
The project, dubbed “Kicks for Kids,” or K4K, as used in the campaign, is the brainchild of Ross, who wanted to make government class relevant and exciting for her students by having them design and implement a shoe drive for impoverished students at two local schools. The students had to apply for and explain why they would be best suited for their chosen committee, from among six.
For example, the government committee researched federal, state, and local poverty and contacted government officials; the education committee designed a lesson aligned with Virginia standards for second grade at the two selected schools; the press committee wrote press releases; the social media group used Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to spread awareness.
Ross reports that the students’ sense of purpose grew the more involved they became. They contacted local businesses and schools to furnish boxes for their shoe collection and to ask for donations of money. Support came from Chick-fil-A, Frosty Moose, Confections, Trident Academy, Manassas Mixed Martial Arts, Manassas Christian School, and Buffalo Wild Wings, among others. The social media committee scholars wrote songs, produced videos, tweeted, and Facebooked.
The second-grade lesson was on trustworthiness, honesty, respect, self-discipline, and participation–things that together make a good citizen, and a better community of scholars.
“My students inspired me so much with their sense of purpose and commitment,” said Ross. “The magnitude of the learning from this project far exceeded anyone’s expectations.” “Kicks for Kids” taught the Osbourn Park High School government students that much can be accomplished through teamwork. They also learned the value of civic responsibility and charity work.
The meaningful, simple, and useful lesson these young citizens received was the gift of giving back. They learned hard work is necessary to do something as simple as giving gently used and new shoes to those in need.