The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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There’s so much more to be learned in school than reading, writing and `rithmetic.

The students in Kyle O’Neill’s fifth-grade class at Graytown Elementary School recently took those important core skills that they’ve learned and used them in a project that would help make the wish of an ailing young boy come true.

From September through October, the students worked on a service project to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“We met with Melissa Rozic from Make-A-Wish and she told us about what they do and about the children they help,” O’Neill said. “She gave us the name of the boy we would be helping to raise money for and his wish.”

The class’ fund-raising efforts would benefit a 5-year-old boy named Clayton, of Perrysburg, who is suffering with a chronic lung condition and cerebral palsy. Clayton’s wish was to have his basement redone.

The students had the opportunity to meet Clayton and his parents when they made a visit to the school.

Mr. O’Neill divided his students into groups and assigned each of them a classroom to work with. “They had to decorate a collection box and put it in their assigned classes,” the teacher said. “Then, they had to write persuasive letters asking the classes to donate money.”

Mr. O’Neill had worked out a collaboration with Dr. Judy Lambert from The University of Toledo whereby Dr. Lambert’s undergraduate education students would edit the fifth-graders’ persuasive letters after they were typed and submitted on a Web page.

“Her undergrad students and the college of education honors society at UT decided they would help in the fund-raising as well,” Mr. O’Neill said.

After Mr. O’Neill’s students read the persuasive letters to the assigned classes, they created a graph to display how each class was progressing. They also made posters to put in the school hall.

“Each Friday, we collected the money from the rooms and my kids recorded the amount and graphed it in the hall for all to see,” Mr. O’Neill said.

The students also attended an Oak Harbor football game where they collected money at the gates. At the football game, Oak Harbor DECA advisor, Nadine Scott, indicated that her group wanted to help with the project as well. The DECA students held a lock-in at the high school along with some other events and donated the money to Make-A-Wish for Clayton.

Between the project’s inception in September through the end of October, the collaborative efforts of students from Graytown Elementary, The University of Toledo and the Oak Harbor DECA raised $3,200 toward Clayton’s wish.”

The funds were presented to Make-A-Wish at Graytown Elementary on Dec. 4.

“For me it was important for the class to take away more than the academic benefits of such a project,” Mr. O’Neill said. “Not only did they work on classroom skills, they also learned of the value of helping others and giving to those who are in need.

“That was the most important thing that I wanted the kids to remember from this project,” he said.

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