Elementary students in Waco learn to give back to their community at a young age

WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Some local elementary school students are teaching lessons in kindness, not only giving back to their school, but reaching out to help the community.

The student council at Harmony Science Academy in Waco, which consists of 13 fifth grade students, meets weekly to help brainstorm fundraising ideas. From the money raised, they find ways to help the school and beyond.

So far, the group has done everything from donating food to Shepard’s Heart Food Pantry to making cards and purchasing stuffed animals for sick children at a local hospital.

Alexis Sanford is a teaching assistant who helps lead the student council but says the heavy lifting is really done by the youngsters.

“It’s all their decision. They all communicate in our meetings. We hold a meeting on Wednesday afternoons. They brainstorm on what they would like to do and then we kind of communicate with them on what we can pull off,” Sanford said.

The students have mostly raised money through snack stands they have at school twice a week.

Elementary students in Waco learn to give back to their community at a young age
Snack stands help students raise money for good causes.(Courtesy Photo)

The money raised in October went to purchasing basketball goals and basketballs for the school.

In November, the students took canned donations to Shephard’s Heart Food Pantry.

At the end of the year, the students made personalized mugs for their teachers to take home for the holidays.

“They always want to make sure their teachers feel appreciated,” Johnson said.

The days leading up to Valentine’s Day were extra special for teachers as the student council raised money through selling candy grams to purchase pencils and roses for them.

Students delivered cards to children at Baylor Scott and White.
Students delivered cards to children at Baylor Scott and White.(Courtesy Photo)

And the student council isn’t just limiting acts of kindness within the walls of their school.

This past month, they made cards and delivered stuffed animals to Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest for the pediatric ward.

Student Recruitment Coordinator, Cynthia Sanchez, helped deliver the bears to the hospital and said having kids learn to give back early is key.

Stuffed animals for children at local hospitals
Stuffed animals for children at local hospitals(Courtesy Photo)

“I wanted them to know about student council and giving back as a younger child so when they’re at the high school campus they understand, ‘hey, I gave back when I was younger and this is nothing new to me,’” she said.

Principal Tanisha Johnson says her students, oftentimes, don’t have a lot, so to see them so enthused about giving back warms her heart.

"Penny Wars"
“Penny Wars”(Courtesy Photos)

“I am ecstatic for them. 100 percent of my kids receive free breakfast and lunch, so for them to have such a big heart to give back to their community, whether it’s their teachers or students or the outside community, it just makes me feel so proud,” she said.

The latest fundraiser was called “Penny Wars.” The principal, assistant principal and student council sponsors have been collecting donations in buckets in the hall.

Whoever gets the most money has to kiss an animal.

The student council plans to spend the more than $500 raised from that fundraiser to give the teachers a big end of the year surprise.

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