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Pupils Give Back to Their Community With Help From The KINF And JOANN

Bush Elementary School first grader, Romeo Rodriquez, created a thank you card for UPMC Chautauqua healthcare workers with supplies from the Kids In Need Foundation/JOANN Stores partnership.

Bush Elementary School students are learning an important lesson in giving back to their community with the help of the Kids In Need Foundation (KINF) and JOANN Stores. Students created blankets for residents of the Lutheran Home and thank you cards for UPMC Chautauqua healthcare workers with donations from a KINF/JOANN partnership, which provides seasonal and discontinued inventory items for use in under-resourced schools across the country.

Since 2013, Bush Elementary School has benefited from these donations when paraprofessional Denise Pavlock, who works with students before school, started using them to do crafts that they may not have had an opportunity to do at home. In addition, the KINF/JOANN supplies also helped stock the school store. Students could “buy” anything from iron on patches to silk flowers, one of a kind craft kit, no-sew blankets, stuffed animals, and more were used for prizes for good behavior. Teachers have been using the donations in their classes for sorting, teaching plant life, expanding literature, matching letters and numbers, musical instruments, and so much more. Due to COVID, the morning program was adjusted and Bush School started using the donations for craft time in class, after school childcare and to decorate their school. What started out to benefit students who needed a quiet place to go in the morning, has ended up helping the entire school.

Randi Brumbaugh of UPMC Chautauqua, recently contacted Bush asking if students could create cards for the healthcare workers. Students used the JOANN donations to apply ribbons, tulle, scrapbook paper and decals to enhance the cards. Students in Tari Geisler’s class also used fabric supplies to make blankets for the residents at the Lutheran Home with the help of art teacher, Becky Whitman.

“It is most important for students to learn to give back to the community through projects like this because being a ‘giver’ is a wonderful character trait. Teaching selflessness and thoughtfulness has to start early,” said Bush Elementary School second grade teacher, Nichole Mason. “It will bring the students joy to see that what they’ve created made someone else’s day. This is a self-esteem builder as they grow up. It is something that if they learn the value of giving at a young age will fulfill their own lives and will benefit the community around them for years to come.”

KINF is happy to see these donations helping Bush School.

Bush Elementary School student, Maxx Davis, sewed a blanket for residents of the Lutheran Home using material donated from the Kids In Need Foundation/JOANN Stores partnership.

“Since 2013, JOANN Stores has provided seasonal and discontinued store inventory items for use in under-resourced schools across the country through KINF,” said Corey Gordon, CEO – Kids In Need Foundation. “The projects that Bush Elementary students participated in to support local frontline workers and senior citizens exemplify the goals of this partnership. We’re excited to see how students’ work brightened the day of members of their community and allowed them to feel inspired to be creative in the classroom.”

KINF believes every child in America should have equal opportunity and access to a quality education.

Widely sought after by schools and teachers across the country, the product donations from JOANN Stores have inspired endless new lessons and furthered creativity opportunities for millions of students. For more information, go to www.kinf.org

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