A select group of Fredericktown Elementary School students had the unique opportunity to learn generosity by ringing bells for the Salvation Army Dec. 11 at the Fredericktown Walmart.
Students from Barb Coleman’s second grade class, December students of the month and the second grade ambassadors participated in ringing the bell for an hour as a way to teach them to get involved.
“It teaches them to get involved with local charities and to donate to causes that impact their community,” Fredericktown Elementary School Principal Joe Clauser said. “The Salvation Army keeps 85 percent of their donations locally and they directly serve the people of Madison County.”
Clauser said each month students work on a character word and that December’s word is generosity.
“December is a natural time for people to be generous,” Clauser said. “There are so many opportunities for students and their families to get involved with local efforts that promote giving.”
Character words shape the social instruction for the month and as students go through the month students of the month are chosen based on those character words.
“We have a Cat Walk on the first school day of the month where students of the month walk through the halls and the other students and teachers applaud them,” Clauser said. “The same day, we show a PBS (Positive Behavior Support) News video that features FES students and teachers talking about the character word.”
Students are recognized and rewarded when they exhibit the character word throughout the month.
Clauser said many students of FES go on to doing charitable things.
“One of our former students collects coloring books, crayons, markers and colored pencils for kids at Children’s Hospital,” Clauser said. “Another student collects stuffed animals for kids who are in the hospital. School groups have coat and hat drives, food drives and toy drives.”
Clauser said FES began its focus on generosity last year with the creation of #FESGivesBack on Facebook.
“It has been a great way to give back to our community while making positive connections with students and their families,” Clauser said.
Members of the staff have also taken turns ringing the bell throughout the season.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org