Newman classroom shows value of service via care package project

Dec 03, 2020

In this trying time of isolation and tribulation, it is important now more than ever to support one another in every way possible.

As the Newman community strives to make community outreach and service a priority, each Traditions & Transitions (T&T) class is asked to carry out a service project with each brainstorming, planning and carrying out a project on their own.

Associate Professor of Secondary Education Max Frazier, Ph.D., commented on the efforts of his class, explaining how the project was created and executed.

“The initial idea for the project came from Alizza Robles, the student facilitator for my T&T class. Her idea was added to the list along with several ideas I contributed and other ideas contributed by students in the class. We went through a series of three or four class votes to narrow the choices down from seven or eight originally to the final choice.”

Frazier felt this was the best way for the class to come to a consensus.

“It is important to me that the students make the choices about the project so they will own whatever they choose to do,” Frazier added.

After taking the final vote, the class collectively concluded that they would put together care packages that were donated to families staying at the local Ronald McDonald House. Responsibilities were allocated, and everyone got to work.

“I mostly helped to get things organized and helped with paperwork,” said Frazier. “My facilitator worked with a smaller group of students to purchase the items we included in the care packages. They identified the supplies and materials we needed through a shared Amazon shopping list.”

With her Amazon Prime account, Robles was able to quickly obtain all of the needed supplies in a timely manner and was later reimbursed. At this point, it was time to actually assemble the packages.

One difficulty the class encountered was devising a safe way of creating the care packages, as to not risk any potential transmissions.

“On the day we assembled the care packages, I organized the students to first write individual notes to go in each care package and then into an assembly line to gather the things that made up the care packages,” Robles explained. “I was careful to be sure and use good hygiene by having students wash hands first, use hand sanitizer and we made sure that each item to go in a care package was only touched by only one person.”

Once the assembly on each package was complete, they were all supplemented with personalized notes of good wishes written by the students.

“After the care packages were delivered to the Ronald McDonald House by a couple of students, we received a really nice letter from the CEO of Ronald McDonald Charities,” she said. “I made sure to send a copy to each of the students. Even though they were not there to have their picture taken, each of them contributed and made a difference to the families who will be staying at the Ronald McDonald house.”

Frazier said community service is important for students and provides them with education you cannot receive inside a classroom.

“I believe being involved in service projects reminds us that one of our duties in life is to serve others. Hopefully the care packages and notes written by Newman students will provide (the families) with comfort in a trying time. The students and my facilitator did a great job with the project.”