Learning to Put Others before Ourselves:
Lawrence County 8th Graders Have a Lesson on Service
By Caryn McCreary, Lawrence County 4-H Agent
In light of the passing of our 41st President, George H. W. Bush, who was a pillar and role model for his commitment to service, we can only attempt to be as impactful as he. However, when over 150 youth come together, along with a dozen adults to work toward a cause, great things can happen. This very thing occurred on December 3rd as Lawrence County 8th graders participated in a BRIDGE Days event where service was the focal point of the day.
Along with the generosity of community donations, Lawrence County 4-H and some personal input from our teachers and students, our group took off on a journey at the Ashland Walmart with a shopping list and a buggy.
Many charities and non-profit groups within our county are in great need. They use items they receive to make sure our students and their families are not in need of some of the essentials in life.
The intention of this shopping trip was to allow our children to feel what it was like to take care of others through this large scale project. To watch the careful shopping to make sure they stretched their dollars as far as possible while accomplishing as much as possible was a wonderful experience.
The educational value of the math lessons, the team work, the emotional connections and the feeling of purpose made this event one that will hopefully be continued in the future.
Thank you so much to the Ashland Walmart for being so welcoming and participating with our group. We are also extremely grateful to our financial donors for allowing this experience to become a reality. Thank you to Lawrence County schools for allowing 4-H to work so closely with our kids.
BRIDGE Days is a 4-H event, begun 7 years ago, for all of the 8th graders in Lawrence County. With our dynamic and geographic challenge, becoming a freshman can be a major challenge. Not only do our youth start a new school where everything is brand new, but the challenges they face can be life changing. One middle school provides 150+ kids while each of our other two provide approximately 20 apiece. It is beyond important that we break down the walls and fears that these children face so that they can successfully complete high school with their heads held high.