WARREN - With the message "Philanthropy Breeds Joy," students at Lincoln K-8 School learned about helping others by working with city officials and local dignitaries recently in making more than 800 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Kelly Jadue, a Lincoln teacher and event coordinator, said the project is designed to encourage charity, generosity and goodwill among students.
Jadue said the language arts students at the school first created lessons with skits using colorful props for primary grades at the school that focus on the objective of teaching philanthropy focusing on sharing and giving.
Students were in the language arts classes of Andy Kelly, Laura Ware, and Robin Walk along with Jadue's.
The lessons and skits also incorporate comprehension skills and strategies to assist with the third-grade guarantee reading goal.
Jadue said in November, the sixth to eighth grade students read to the primary students and instructed them on what steps to take to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using directions, numbers and sequential order.
Before Thanksgiving, the more than 800 students made the sandwiches in the cafeteria and delivered them to the Warren Family Mission and local nursing homes to be distributed at the holidays
Jadue said the older students, including ninth graders from the high school, assisted the younger students.
The group worked at making 26 sandwiches in less than eight minutes.
Mayor Doug Franklin, fire Chief Ken Nussle, police Chief Erick Merkel, Sue Shafer of the Tribune Chronicle and other local officials and celebrities assisted the students as well.
"This performance-based lesson is designed to encourage charity, generosity and goodwill," Jadue said.
At the conclusion of the project, the older students wrote reflection papers about what they learned from the experience and teaching others.
"It felt good because the students we taught looked at me differently. It felt nice to do something for someone else," said Skylar Sayers, an eighth-grader. "The kids were excited and didn't want us to leave after the lesson. They kept hugging us before we left to say thank you."
Malaysiah Barnes, an eighth-grader, said, "I felt like a teacher for the day, and it was heartwarming. It feels good to give to others who have less and are less fortunate than us."
Both girls said they would like to do this type of lesson again in the school year.
Jadue said some former students from last year returned to help and experience the event again.
Thirteen Harding students helped in the event after receiving Renaissance cards for making the honor roll last semester.
Dominic Van Winkle, ninth-grader, said, "It was nice that we were able to help families. It was cool involving the younger kids. They enjoyed making the sandwiches."
Bella VanKirk, ninth grader, said last year when she was part it was done for the fun but this year she and others realized it was actually making an impact on other people's lives.
"I'm proud of all of the students," Jadue said.
Principal Dani Burns said she was pleased to see the older students and the younger students come together to work on a project, noting it can be a challenge with 1,300 students in the building.
"It's like a small community coming together. We have perfected a few thing and got quicker," Burns said.
Parent Trish DiCesare, whose son Gino, a first-grader, was part of the project, helped make a sandwich with Mayor Doug Franklin.
She said her son talked about the event days ahead of time.
"He was really excited about this and helping people in need. It was nice to see the kids interacting with the officials," DiCesare said, noting students could see officials in a different light.
"They saw they were regular people who cared. That was what made it neat," DiCesare said.
Jadue said Stan Gregory, preventative maintenance supervisor, was instrumental in helping with the more than 800 students on stage.