Helping hands: Oltman students volunteer in St. Paul Park community
The 146 seventh-graders in Oltman Middle School's Knights House were not in their regular classes one recent day, but they weren't absent either. They were helping the community.
The day of service learning is something the kids look forward to, said Kelly Kuhl, who helped plan the Feb. 10 events and is one of the Knights House teachers where students have the same core teachers for a year. Students also share the experience with their friends.
To get a better understanding of how volunteering relates to them, students watched videos before the service day about kids their own age who are making a difference in their communities.
"Kids are passionate," she said, and need to know the small things they can do to help.
Students also had a hand in choosing the projects they wanted to do, Kuhl said.
Students signed up for projects such as sorting books at the Park Grove Branch Library, visiting seniors at the Norris Square senior living facility, making craft kits for cancer patients in Children's Hospital, cleaning and sorting at the Stone Soup Thrift Store and making blankets for a local battered women's shelter.
They are helping their community and keeping it local, Kuhl said.
"The community does so much for us," said student Leah Christiansen. "We need to help them."