C-G-D 4th and 5th graders again ‘pay-it-forward’ with grant-funded projects

Miss Lloyd’s 5th grade class visited the residents of The Meadows Independent Living for their Project Jack activity. The student purchased games with their grant money and brought the games to share that day AND left the games for the residents to play in the days ahead.  Meadows Leader Carla Kem said about the project: “What an awesome legacy for young Jack who lost his life too soon!” Photo submitted.

Mrs. Jensen’s 5th grade class gave an appreciation breakfast for EMTs, the fire, police, and sheriff's departments, custodians and bus drivers at C-G-D using their Project Jack grant money. The class also visited with their guests and struck up conversations using fun questions that they had planned.Photo by Bridget Shileny.

            The 4th and 5th grade classes at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows have been busy lately with some special projects. The students are not only toiling away in the classroom looking forward to the end of the school year, but they have also had the chance to participate in some charitable activities, thanks to a grant that the school was awarded called Project Jack.

            The grants memorialize Jack Lindaman, a boy who died at age 6 of spinal muscular atrophy in 2010. The grants are given by the Iowa Association of Realtors, who wants students to “pay it forward” in Jack’s memory. C-G-D Elementary Guidance Counselor Sarah Kakacek explains that this is the third year the school has received Project Jack funds.

            4th and 5th grade classes are eligible for the grant and go through an application process. When awarded, each class receives $250 to use for a project. The grant’s requirements explain that with the grant moneys, the classes must choose “a pay it forward type of project. It must benefit another person or go to an organization that is helping Iowans in need.”

            This year the six C-G-D 4th and 5th grade classes again chose a variety of worthy causes and projects to fund or support.  Kakacek shared the projects chosen by each class: Mrs. Sido's 4th grade class- Purchased food items for the local Backpack program. Students shopped and packed the backpack bags that were returned to the school to help fellow students. Mrs. Cuellar's 4th grade class- Created "goody bags" filled with crossword puzzles, reading material, flowers, and snacks to give to patients with cancer at the MercyOne Cancer Center at Mason City. Mrs. March's 4th grade class- Purchased and planted succulents and delivered them to the residents at the Meadows.

            For the fifth grade classes, Mrs. Thompson's class purchased games and toys for a variety of ages and gave to Children and Families of Iowa earmarked for adoptive families Miss Lloyd’s class purchased games and played games with residents from the Meadows. Mrs. Jensen’s class gave an appreciation breakfast for EMTs, the fire, police, and sheriff's departments, custodians and bus drivers at C-G-D.

            The classes enjoy participating in these activities and even got to help pick out their own event. Mrs. Jensen explained that her class already had a good relationship with local law enforcement due to the D.A.R.E. program and decided to do something special for them along with other community helpers, which resulted in serving them breakfast. She added that the project is a great opportunity “to give to others without expecting anything in return.”

            Her students agreed with her. Fifth grader Mason Linn who helped with serving breakfast, said, “There’s a lot of people who do good in the community and don’t get recognized. We wanted to pay-it-forward to those ones who do so much.”  Mrs. Kakacek is also pleased with the projects the classes chose. She said, “This is an excellent opportunity for students to think about others and brighten someone's day.”