Classroom Project Brings Holiday Cheer

By KBJR News 1

December 3, 2010 Updated Dec 3, 2010 at 8:17 PM CDT

A class from the Northland Learning Center took one of their projects out of the class room, and into what will be the hands of some people who may have a tough time over the holidays.

It's a project similar to ones Mrs. Ismil as done in the past.

"Along with learning to work in teams and learning to communicate effectively we look at what are our values. So we picked a project and the project was to make Christmas gift boxes for children who are going to be in the hospital over Christmas," said Jan Ismil, the teacher for the Interpersonal Communication Class at the NorthLand Learning Center.

They sent out letters not only to businesses asking for donations for the project, but also to the Virginia Regional Medical Center, proposing the idea.

"I thought it was a great opportunity for both us and them to experience the gift of giving and volunteering; that would be a good experience," said Jane Teasck, manager of Maternal Child Health at VRMC.

After all their hard work the project came down to the final day on Friday. The class took a field trip to hand deliver the gift boxes to the Virginia Regional Medical Center Pediatric Unit.

Administration staff along with staff from the Pediatric Unit accepted the gift boxes on behalf of the patients who may be in the hospital over the holidays.

"Even if they are sick and not feeling well they just absolutely love it, and I think that it helps kids see that the hospital isn't a scary place to be," said Teasck.

For the students who are seeing their class project come to an end, they are receiving a different kind of gift this holiday season.

"I felt relieved to know that these kids who are going to be here over the holiday season, that they were going to have something to do and they would know that they were being thought of," said Krystal Kingery, a 11th grade student.

"I just feel like I have a lot of pride. Just helping someone in need just makes me like a better person," said Sha Vondria Owens, a 12th grade student.

"It's not like...it doesn't have to be your family or an immediate friend, you can always help somebody out if they need to be," said Brandon Flannigan, a 12th grade student.

Currently there are no patients in the Pediatric Unit at VRMC.

Some of the students said the project left them curious about other volunteer opportunities in the hospital.