For the fourth year in a row, Crosspoint teacher Carla Fontenot
has challenged her students to tackle projects that make a tangible
change in their neighborhoods, the community and the world. It’s a
pretty tall order for third and fourth graders, but the kids have
stepped up admirably, Fontenot reported in a recent news release
about this year’s ideas.
Fontenot’s “Christian Leadership Challenge” started in 2009 as “a Bible lesson and morphed into a ‘life lesson’ for my students, my parents and myself,” said Fontenot.
Crosspoint, formerly Kings West Academy, is a private Christian school in Chico. In 2009, the year of the name change, there was a big focus on leadership. During the Bible lesson, Fontenot asked her class if they thought they were old enough to make a difference in the world.
They brainstormed and came up with “little things,” ideas like helping a neighbor pick up litter or helping a relative watch a dog.
Branching out, they discussed collecting food for a food bank or raising money for the humane society. Pretty soon, that original group of students was on fire with ideas like finding a cure for cancer.
Fontenot devised three categories: neighborhood, community, world, and set guidelines that students’ projects couldn’t cost their parents money (except maybe stamps and gas), and they couldn’t benefit monetarily themselves.
“I was surprised at how the students took off with the ideas, Fontenot said.
Karis Melin’s 2009 project to collect stuffed animals for sick children at Harrison Medical Center has been continued by other students in each following year. Parents have jumped in enthusiastically.
In other notable projects, Emma Rose Brown in 2010 made bracelets and note cards to sell for an organization called HOPE International, and Hayden Wallis in 2011 set up a challenge to see which classroom could collect the most food for the food bank, with his family offering a pizza party to the winners.
Here are the projects proposed for this year:
Emily Devine’s goal is to collect 40 new stuffed animals for Harrison Hospital. She has a collection box at the school.
Landon McArdles’ helped with a church program called “Feed the 5,000.” He helped set up and take down the program’s booth at his church. Landon exceeded his goal of helping to secure 20 sponsorships. Twenty-six children were sponsored for the meal program.
Trevin Foley is collecting items for Bremerton Foodline. He will go door to door and ask for one donation per house and will collect items outside of a grocery store. His goal is to collect 100 items.
Owen Wyatt is collecting board games for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. He wants hurt kids to have fun. His plan is to try to get 50 board games. He is going to ask his family members to donate games.
Marshall Hainer is collecting canned foods to donate to the South Kitsap Food Bank. He is calling his project “Let’s Feed Those in Need.” Marshall hopes to collect 100 cans of food from neighbors.
Emma Frey-Erickson is collecting items for the Kitsap Humane Society. She is asking for donations of pet food, beds, and toys for cats and dogs. Her goal is to collect 25 items.
Blessing Rene is collecting books for children in Africa. She will raise money to send gently used books abroad.
Nick Johnson wants to help endangered species by raising money. He is still working on a plan and a goal.
Anyone who wants to help these students meet their goals can call Crosspoint at (360) 377-7700.
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