On our blog today, we have a special guest writer, our very own Youth Program Coordinator - Jean Seeland. Jean will talk about her time in the elementary schools of Waterloo and about the service-learning projects she helped implement!
Children are never too young to begin learning about how to give back to their community and their world. I began working with preschoolers at Kittrell Elementary two years ago in a classroom that included several autistic children. The response was so positive, that this year I am working with two classrooms! I visit the classes each month and we do a special service-learning project designed for the preschool children. For example, one month we decided to honor our community helpers. We asked the city of Waterloo to send out a garbage truck and someone to explain the job of a sanitation worker. After a wonderful experience that excited the children, the children made special posters saying "thank you" to sanitation workers that they took home and attached to their garbage cans!
Another month we had a special speaker from a veterinarian's office and then we made cat toys that were given to the Humane Society. The most powerful aspect of this engagement is not the projects we do, but the empowerment the young children feel knowing that they can make a difference in the world. I am a firm believer that traditions begun at an early age continue into our latter years!
- Jean Seeland, Youth Program Coordinator
360 Westfield Avenue
Waterloo, IA 50701