Two students at Harman School and Smith Elementary are taking the lessons they’re learning about service and caring one step further. With the help of their classmates, Charlotte Lethander and Arwen Feng organized a fundraiser that will pay for new trees to be planted at both schools.
“We knew the city had a good tree program where you could order trees and they would plant them for you. We are concerned for the environment, because older trees are dying and most of the other trees are younger,” Feng said.
The girls have been friends since the first grade when they both attended Smith. Even though Feng moved and began attending Harman, they stayed close. Now they are hoping to bring other sixth graders together before the class heads to junior high.
“We hope our classmates will learn unity between our two schools. Even though we are different schools, we are one Oakwood. We also hope our peers will learn service and care can be as big as this project or as small as greeting your neighbor,” Lethander said.
Each year, Oakwood elementary students participate in a combined character education program called Timber. Monthly activities focus on providing service and care for family, school, community, country and planet Earth.
“I'm so proud of these young ladies for taking the initiative for this special project. It truly exemplifies what we are hoping to instill in our students through Timber. It reflects our theme of service and care by serving our school and community, and it most certainly demonstrates the leadership skills we seek to foster in our students: Learn, Love, Lead,” Harman School Principal Sarah Patterson said.
Smith Elementary Principal Chrissy Elliott hopes this program will continue to benefit students and community long past the time the tree is planted.
“The tree will serve as a strong symbol of how working together as a team can make a positive impact on the community it serves. This student-led project will be something our students will remember for years to come.”