Fifth grade students making a difference

Fifth grade students making a difference
Posted on 06/08/2017
This is the image for the news article titled Fifth grade students making a differenceBy Natalie Brady, Communications Intern

To top off the school year at the Indian Hill Elementary School, the fifth grade teachers and a PTO committee created and implemented “The Fifth Grade Finale.” The Finale represented the students’ final week at the Elementary School building, before they move on to be big sixth graders at the Middle School next fall. Each day of the final week, students participated in an activity - these activities included everything from fun in nature to community service projects.

On May 22, the fifth graders headed up to Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash. According to their website, Matthew 25: Ministries is “an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization helping the poorest of the poor locally, regionally, nationally and internationally regardless of race, creed or political persuasion.” Half of the classes went in the morning and half in the afternoon, and students sorted hundreds of pairs of donated men’s dress shoes. Teacher Teresa Mullenax explains, “The students sorted the shoes by style and size and then matched right and left shoes. It was a task the students could do, but it did require concentration and cooperation.” Imagine, classes of fifth graders working together to sort hundreds of shoes! “The students learned to appreciate the amount of organization and hard work necessary for the Matthew 25: Ministries organization to be ready when needed,” Mrs. Mullenax continued.

Students sorted shoes in the Matthew 25 warehouseThe fifth, now freshly sixth, graders didn’t just sort shoes while at Matthew 25: Ministries – they also took a tour of the facility and learned about the organization’s purpose and impact. The tour showed the students the effects of natural disasters and poverty in the world. Mrs. Mullenax says, “It was eye-opening to the students how living in poverty in America might mean sleeping in a small shack in Appalachia, but in parts of India, it might mean sleeping in a box in a garbage pile.” The students learned that donating their time to sorting shoes for an hour or two could ultimately impact 120 people or more around the world. This greatly inspired the students, and Mrs. Mullenax states, “Many left the facility wanting to come back another time with their families to continue this important work.”