“Make a heart.” Dayton Elementary students fold their hands into a heart shape closely mimicking teacher Carol Howard. “Then a hug,” says Howard. Students fold their arms across their chest, as if to give themselves a hug. Then, Howard asks them to “put them in the box.” Students unfold their arms and touch the boxes in front of them on the cafeteria tables. The pencil boxes are filled with markers, playdoh, small toys and other items for patients at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.
The kindergarteners were excited to select goodies to go into their gift boxes. All the items were donated by Dayton families and friends.
Teacher Kylie McMurry says the project is part of the school’s focus on gratitude. “In the midst of the holiday season, it is especially easy for our students to get caught up in the excitement of receiving gifts,” says McMurry. “As a school, Dayton shifts our December schoolwide focus to gratitude. We like to embody this by helping our youngest students realize the power of gift giving. Each year we choose a service project that will get our students excited about giving to others instead of receiving.”
More than 100 gift boxes will be delivered to the hospital this month with the hopes of brightening the day of a sick child.