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Hooting Helpers Club Shines In Its Inaugural Year At FMES

Voice Media
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December 6, 2017

Fifth-graders at Folger McKinsey Elementary School are learning leadership and altruism, skills they will carry with them next year when they head to middle school. The Hooting Helpers club is composed of fifth-grade Folger students who meet monthly with school counselor Natalie Rieke and parent volunteers Megan Achatz and Durrie Sticka. At their meetings, children brainstorm ways they can help their community. They vote on the cause they’d like to support and create a service project. They then lead their younger classmates (kindergarten through fourth grade) in carrying out the project and giving back to their communities.

In the month of October, students packed bagged lunches to be delivered to the Light House, a homeless shelter in Annapolis. The event was so popular with Folger students the first time it was offered that the club had to hold a second session.

Fifty children and 20 parents gathered in the cafeteria before school. The tables were stacked with lunchmeats, loaves of bread, fresh fruit and snacks that children had brought from home. Children worked together to build sandwiches, pack paper sacks and deliver finished bags to a central location. All the children had an important role to play. Each of the lunches they packed also contained a personal note that students decorated at the art table.

The purpose of the club, said Rieke, is two-fold. Children in all grade levels are taught to value community service and develop a sense of pride in helping others. Folger students are making a difference in their community.

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