Each month at
Duneland Y-Care Out Of School Learning, participants study the meaning of a
character word to help them better understand admirable character traits. In
December, the character word was ‘grateful’.
“In daily after
school settings in all five Duneland elementary schools, Y program staff led
conversations about what it means to be grateful and how to be grateful to
others,” says Sally Gabric, School Age Child Director at the Y, “But
sometimes it’s hard to describe how to be grateful with words. Actions are
the best way to show gratefulness.”
With that in mind,
Y-Care kids and staff decided to collect items that might be taken for
granted in their households, but that others might need such as socks,
toothpaste, shampoo, coats, gloves and toys. The kids enlisted the help of
their families. Working together, they collected boxes and boxes of items
they felt others might be struggling without. The goal was to collect 100
bags full of items between all the Out of School Learning sites, but the
kids were so eager to help others they collected enough household items to
fill 152 bags, and those were overflowing.
provider, HealthLinc, readily agreed to help distribute the kids' donations
to people who really need them. “We are deeply grateful to HealthLinc for
helping to spread the results of this service learning project to those in
need,” said Gabric.
Service learning is
a component of Y-Care Out Of School Learning. Traditionally Y leaders and
youth have worked together to address community needs while striving to make
a positive difference. Other Y-Care curriculum includes STEM projects,
foreign language learning, academic support, health and wellness, leadership
development and so much more. To find out more about Y-Care or to enroll
your child, contact Sally Gabric at 219-921-0183. The Duneland Family YMCA,
a United Way of Porter County Partner Agency, has been serving the Duneland
communities for more than 50 years focusing on youth development, healthy
living and social responsibility.