HENDRICKS - After learning about citizenship in civics class, Lincoln HI eighth-graders put their skills into action in a special project with kindergarten students at Lincoln HI Elementary School Monday in Hendricks.
The project was made possible because of donations from the Hendricks Kiwanis Club.
"I love doing hands-on projects," said Kelly Stewart, Lincoln HI civics teacher. "It's good to have the older kids and younger kids working together. We want the kindergartners to identify that they're special kids."
Photo by Jenny Kirk
Lincoln HI kindergartners and eighth-graders worked together in a citizenship project sponsored by the Hendricks Kiwanis Club Monday afternoon. Braxton Johnson, left, Andrew Behnke, Jackson Lacek and Devon Buffington spent time decorating around the kindergartner’s clay hand print, making each one unique.
The eighth-graders shared what they had learned about citizenship in their class with their younger schoolmates.
"They gave ideas of ways they can be good citizens and try to make a difference in their communities," said Jessica Jordahl, Lincoln HI kindergarten teacher.
Then the two classes paired up, mostly 1-on-1, to work on making clay hand prints.
"It's wonderful," Jordahl said. "Anytime we can have the kindergartners work with older kids, it's great. They look up to the older kids. The kids are always super excited to work with them."
Kindergartners Braxton Johnson and Jackson Lacek worked with eighth-graders Andrew Behnke and Devon Buffington.
"I liked doing the hand print best," Lacek said. "It was fun."
It was no easy task, though, as the clay had to be handled, rolled out and then pressed into a plastic frame. Some groups had to throw their kit away and start over, as the clay was either too wet or too dry.
"The hardest part was squishing it down," kindergartner Liberty Wendinger said. "But I liked doing all of it."
Wendinger added a number of orange and red beads to her masterpiece.
"It turned out good," she said.
Wendinger's partner, Miranda Lasnetski, said the experience went well.
"It was nice working with the little kids," Lasnetski said. "We learned that citizenship is about helping in our community."
Eighth-grader Austin Benz also said he enjoyed working with his new friend, Isaac Guza.
"It was pretty fun," Benz said.
Guza used a variety different-shaped beads to decorate around his hand print.
"My favorite part was putting my name on it," Guza said.
Jordahl plans to allow her students time to paint their hand prints today.
"We have to let them dry first," Jordahl said. "But then we'll paint them so they have more color."
The civics students also designed four posters for the kindergarten room, wishing them a wonderful summer and other considerate gestures.
"They're good role models for the younger kids," Jordahl said.
Stewart said she felt really good about the positive experience that the students had, especially in light of the recently-stoked bickering between the two schools.
"There's been so much turmoil between the two school districts that's it's nice to see the kids come together," Stewart said. "Everyone could learn a lot about being a good citizen from these kids."