The fifth-grade student ambassadors of Ocean Palms Elementary School (OPES) recently completed the service project, “Banks for Kids,” to benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
Students first decorated small piggy banks (each with $5 dollars inside) provided by THE PLAYERS and Character Counts! of St. Johns County. They then donated them to children at the hospital so they can make a purchase from the “Wolfie Wagon,” Wolfson’s mobile shop for hospitalized kids.
“Being hospitalized isn’t fun, but a visit from the Wolfie Wagon, our store on wheels, can be a bright spot for kids,” Wolfson Children’s Hospital says on its website.
By participating in the project, the student ambassadors were able to have firsthand experience with the Character Counts! pillars of citizenship and caring.
“The Banks for Kids program has promoted good character in me by showing the Character Counts! Pillar of Caring,” said Brianna, one of the fifth-grade ambassadors at Ocean Palms Elementary School.
Character Counts! is a national character education program utilized by St. Johns County schools. Its “Pillars of Caring” include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
“Knowing that some people are in the hospital and need special care … it makes me feel good to be giving to others,” Brianna added. “I hope these banks make children have a smile on their faces.”
Students also had an opportunity to collaboratively work together and sell valentine candy grams to raise money for the banks.
“This project has helped me learn that you can help others while having fun and being creative,” Ambassador Jordan said. “I had tons of fun making these adorable banks which will be helping to cheer up sick kids. This makes me really happy. It makes me want to be more of a leader. I had almost just as much fun raising money to put in the banks by buying and selling candy grams to give to all my friends.”
Following the project, ambassadors were asked to reflect about their participation.
“The Banks for Kids program has impacted my leadership abilities by showing me that I need to give back to people in need,” Ambassador Jameson said.
The student ambassadors ultimately decorated and donated 50 piggy banks filled with $5 bills.
“This project has made me think about how grateful I am to be well,” Ambassador Josie said, “and that I should always care about others.”