Inspired by the group that had repurposed old crayons in the previous session, these two 4th-graders decided to collect old, dried-out markers from teachers in the school and recycle them through the Crayola ColorCycle program, a program in which schools can ship their old Crayola markers back to be recycled, instead of just throwing them away. They sent out fliers to all of the teachers asking for used-up markers, and the response was way more than they had expected! They ended up boxing up over 650 old markers that would have otherwise been thrown in the trash, and shipped them all back to Crayola to be recycled! And of course, then they sent sweet thank-you notes to all of the teachers who had donated their old markers.
These three caring students wanted to make an impact on the homeless community by providing them with care packages. After careful brainstorming, this group compiled a list of goods that may be essential to the happiness and comfort of someone who might not have a home. Anayah, Keziah, and Ann created a flyer listing different items people could donate to their cause. These items included: shaving cream, blankets, socks, gloves, hats, etc. The flyer gave a time period of when donations could be made and where people could bring their donations. Once all of the donations were compiled, students created care packages to be brought to a local homeless shelter.
These 2nd-graders are big admirers of our men and women in uniform, and wanted to do something to show their appreciation for soldiers and veterans. They decided to do projects through Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that CCSR has done projects for in the past, that sends care packages to soldiers and veterans. Being the Fall Session, it was the perfect time to make holiday cards to send to soldiers overseas who couldn’t be home for the holidays! They spent some time generating ideas and then creating their cards, which we sent to Operation Gratitude for inclusion in their signature care packages. It was also the perfect time of year to collect leftover Halloween candy for the care packages as well. The students made posters asking their classmates to donate any leftover Halloween candy and hung them up around the school. Many of the group members also brought in some of their own leftover candy, and we shipped all of it off to Operation Gratitude. The group was very happy that they got to do something nice for their role models in the armed forces. They even received a thoughtful thank-you letter from Operation Gratitude for their generous donations! (In the photo on the right.)
These 3rd-and-5th-grade students decided to put their knack for crafts and creativity to good use for their project. They made origami boats and tucked a tiny note inside each one. Each note contained a kind or inspirational quote, or a fun joke or riddle. They made enough for every 5th-grade student, and spent their lunch and recess hiding one in each 5th-grader’s desk. When their classmates came back from lunch, they had a race to see which class could find their notes in their desks the fastest! Fellow 5th-grade students loved getting this fun surprise from their peers!
The 1st-graders of CCSR, with the guidance of parent volunteer Reneé Hanley, wanted to put a smile on every McGlynn Elementary student’s face. That’s why they spent the session diligently decorating enough sticky notes to stick on the lockers of every student in the school! They worked on a different grade each week, from Kindergarten through Grade 5, and then the final week of the session they canvassed the whole school, placing a uniquely designed sticky note on each locker. When everyone came in the following morning, students from Kindergarten through Grade 5 were overjoyed to discover handmade sticky notes with kind sayings and whimsical drawings adorning their lockers! Notes included sayings such as “live, laugh, love,” “be happy,” and “you are smart,” along with drawings of flowers, unicorns, smiley faces, and more! It was amazing for the 1st-graders to get to see the whole school so excited by their kind gesture.
“We want to teach other kids math,” was what these boys said. Thus, peer tutoring was conceived. These boys researched online math games that could be accessed on a chromebook. The plan was for each of the boys to work with students at the end of lunch of 3 days of the week. Third grade boys worked with 2nd graders with whom they shared a common lunch period and fourth grade boys worked with kindergarten students for the same reason. Not only was this a nice example of older students helping teach younger students, but this use of chromebooks at the end of lunch was great for those wiggly students for whom sitting half an hour is a long time.
Inspired by the pet toy project from the Fall Session, these 3rd-and 1st-graders decided they wanted to put their do-it-yourself skills to use and craft even more homemade toys for shelter animals. They decided on a toy called a snuffle mat, made with anti-fatigue rubber mats and scraps of fleece. The fleece strips get tied into the holes of the rubber mat, and then owners can hide dog treats in the fleece strips for their dogs to dig around and find! Over the course of the next few weeks, they made 3 large snuffle mats, along with some construction paper fans for kittens and cardboard tube treat dispensers for cats.
These students from all different grade levels decided to create pet beds for animals of all shapes and sizes. Because pet beds from a store can be so expensive, this group decided to make them from scratch to give to those who may not be able to afford it. Using blanket fabric, these students measured out and cut the fabric so two layers could be tied together. Students worked together to make almost 16 beds for all different kinds of animals! Students also crafted and posted posters around the school to promote their good cause and let students, faculty, and family know of how they could take advantage of this opportunity for their favorite animal at home.
These resourceful 3rd-5th grade students wanted to do something to help animals in shelters, and together we came up with the idea to make some homemade pet toys to donate! We contacted the Volunteer Coordinator at Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, who we’ve worked with in past years, for ideas. She sent us several sets of instructions for homemade pet toys using objects you can find around the house. The students brought the materials in, and spent the next several weeks making cat and dog toys from materials like tennis balls, socks, plastic bottles, and fabric strips.
In the middle of the elementary school playground, between both sides of the playground, sits a tree. This tree is a favorite meeting place for students of both grades using the playground. Unfortunately, this tree is in need of soil and mulch to cover its many roots. These boys thought about incorporating a kindness activity with a beautification project. They thought up an idea to have all the students of the school paint kindness words/sayings on rocks with buddy classes. Later on, these rocks would be put outside, along with some soil and mulch to decorate the meeting tree. Kindness Rocks!
These second grade girls are big believers in a bully free school where kindness and empathy are the key words. They chose to incorporate a love of emojies with a kindness project. They put together a bulletin board that was displayed outside the cafeteria. On the bulletin board they put a message: “Kindness Counts Emojies: Make one, take one”. Next to the bulletin board they left a stack of sticky notes and markers along with some examples of emojies that could be drawn to represent kindness/ empathy. Students enjoyed stopping by and taking emojies for their friends’ lockers or demonstrating their artistic talent and making their own unique emoji to leave on the bulletin board for someone else to take.
Each year before Thanksgiving, the McGlynn Elementary School pairs with the Medford Family Network to host a food drive to supply the local food pantry and Medford families in need with food. These students wanted to help this huge effort. They made posters, talked in classrooms, collected donations and sorted donations by type. They even came an extra day to help put the donations into reusable shopping bags so the food could be easily given away. With their efforts and the efforts of the school and staff, more than 1400 items were collected! Wow!
These second grade boys are concerned with our environment and especially concerned with increasing the understanding of how to protect endangered animals. They wanted to inform their peers about different animals that were endangered in a different and fun way. So… they came up with making fortune tellers/cootie catchers that kids could play with at lunch. During the course of the fall session, they identified 3 different animals(tigers, sharks and sea turtles), found facts about those animals, chose pictures of those animals and put all onto a template for a cootie catcher. Next, came the folding. They folded about 50 different cootie catchers for each animal. The folding and opening game was placed strategically on all the elementary school lunch tables so that students could read the facts and see the pictures when they were done with lunch.
This team of artistic 2nd-graders got the idea for this project from an activity that Kahlan had done at a birthday party. He explained that instead of throwing away old crayons, they can be turned into new crayons in different shapes, by melting them down in silicon molds! First, the group designed a flyer asking teachers at the school to donate their old crayons to the project. They received hundreds! The next step was to peel the wrappers off of the donated crayons. Not having an oven at their disposal, they instead used borrowed toaster ovens to melt the old crayons down into new shapes. They used molds in a variety of shapes, yielding new crayons shaped like Legos, robots, puzzle pieces, and more! They gifted the new and improved crayons back to the teachers and parents who had originally donated old crayons to them. Their project helped reduce waste by repurposing crayons that would have otherwise been thrown away, and also created something beautiful!
These 2nd-graders love to read, and love arts and crafts! So, they decided to use their arts and crafts skills to enhance the reading experience for their classmates. After noticing that many students didn’t have bookmarks to keep their place when reading, these 2nd-graders decided to make some! They decorated colored cardstock with stickers, ribbons, markers, and glitter glue. They also made containers for their bookmarks using old cans. They made enough to place a can of bookmarks in all four 2nd grade classrooms, and also all five 5th grade classrooms!
These second grade girls tackled a two-fold project. They first decorated posters and a collection bin to collect donated items for the North East Animal Shelter. They let members of our McGlynn School community know that the donations could be brought to the school and that they would reach the non profit animal shelter. Needed supplies such as old towels or blankets, old newspaper and pet food has been rolling in! Secondly, the girls researched available pets at the shelter. They then wrote an ad, describing a pet and giving pertinent information about that pet. “This kitty loves to run and cuddle!” “Smokey the dog is lonely and wants a home!” The ads were combined into a booklet and distributed to all members of the McGlynn Elementary School. Hopefully, all of this free advertising will help an animal at a shelter find a loving home!
These two musically-inclined 2nd-graders decided they wanted to put their talents to use in order to do something in line with the school’s Respect Month, part of the C.A.R.E.S. values system. So, they re-wrote the lyrics of Anna Kendrick’s popular “Cups” song to be about respect and kindness. They designed a Google Slides presentation of their new lyrics for fellow students to sing along with, and they also wrote a short skit and choreographed a music video for the song!
Animal shelters are always in need of extra supplies, and these students wanted to get involved! People who work at animal shelters not only need to keep the facility clean and organized, but need to ensure the animals are taken care of, loved, and prepared for adoption. These students created a flyer to let the McGlynn community know how they can contribute to their cause. The flyer listed multiple animal shelters who need our help within the Medford area. Students suggested donations of blankets, dog food, old pet beds, toys, etc. to help support the success of, not only the animal shelters, but the success of animals being adopted by a loving owner!