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Kaitlyn Tucker and Ryan Deieffenback help Shannon Benyeda and Liam Wright select food in the lunch line at Kensington Elementary School. Kait and Ryan were volunteering with the younger students as part of their class' "Helping Hands" project.

Kensington students' acts of kindness touch many

“We as a fourth grade class have been working on something spectacular.”
– Hudson McTiernan

December 30, 2013 — Fourth-graders in Joanne Paska’s class at Kensington Road Elementary were part of a special project in December—one that had them lending “Helping Hands.”

“Our character education theme for the month is ‘caring,’” explains Mrs. Paska, “so our class is "Giving a Helping Hand" to the KRS community.” For two weeks in December, students chose a way they could extend a "caring hand," and then followed through with the volunteer efforts they identified.

“Some things included helping out the kindergarten students during their lunch period,” said Mrs. Paska. “Other students volunteered time in various grade-level classrooms assisting younger students with their school work.”

“My helping hand job is to help kindergarteners at lunch,” writes Kaitlyn Tucker. “I help them open their lunch boxes. I also help them open their food. It makes me feel happy and proud. It also makes me feel great inside.”

“I get to help my school in a really cool way,” writes Isabella Bullard. “I get to go into a classroom and help all the kids! The last two days I worked with this little boy on a morning booklet where we say the date, and spell numbers. Then we go to the next page and he practices his popcorn words, which are a lot like spelling words. Then, on the next page, he matches up the lower case and upper case letters. He’s pretty good at it!”

“When I was helping those kids, I wanted to do it over and over again,” writes Cate Barclay. “You get a great feeling inside of you. It’s almost impossible not to smile!”

“McKayla is easy to work with because I give her clues to the answer and with a snap of a finger she found the answer!” writes Christopher Tremaine. “I like working with other people because it feels great!”

“I picked to help Mrs. Fearman’s class,” writes Cameron Noone. “So what we do is we go to the classroom … and we help kids who need help with things. Like this morning, I helped a kid named Carter with spelling, neatness and spacing. I had a really great time doing this.”

“My helping hand is helping Mrs. Frasier,” writes Christian Benedict. “I have to go around the school and get a lunch count. I feel very happy when I do that.”

  • “It is a real honor to do it.” – Wyatt MacPherson
  • “It feels nice helping” – Andrew Nelson
  • “It feels good to help them [a second-grade class] and it reminded me of when I was in his class.” – Gregory Frandsen
  • “This job makes me feel excited that I am being a helper.” – Madeline Clouse
  • “It’s a good thing that I did the helping hands because it helps kids get ready for next year!” – Marley Nettles
  • “I love to help kids that need help.” – Ian Collins
  • “It feels good to help and I wish I could do it for the rest of the year.” – Caroline Shaver