The middle school years: those awkward years of our lives that, for the most part, we try to forget about. The peculiar life stage better known as young adolescence that most adults can attest to as being a rather difficult time of their life. While in my teacher residency, there was no systematic training that prepares teachers for this developmental stage. Hence, this is why when I get asked, “What grades do you teach?” and my response is “Middle school”; they then respond with, “Awe, bless your heart”. I proceed to explain how much I enjoy my “tweenagers” I proudly teach 7th grade science. The majority of my students are 11, 12, and 13 years old. In the year that I have them, I watch them grow from young people searching for their place in society to strong community leaders and DYNAMIC young scientist might I add. I consider it to be an honor to be their teacher. They were placed on my roster for a purpose. They are mine!
My students are engaged in a Lead2Feed project where they are serving and boxing hot meals and pantry food boxes to those people in our community that are in need. We facilitate a local 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization known as Helping Hands. This organization aims to feed the needy, help the elderly, and assist in disaster relief efforts. Once a month on Saturday mornings, Helping Hands opens their doors to serve the community and a large group of my students and I show up ready to work. Initially when I started partnering with Helping Hands, I was bringing one class period at a time. Now we are bringing students from all grade levels at our school. It has been so wonderful to watch this program grow and to see middle schoolers plugged in as community leaders. Their volunteer work has spread like wildfire across campus; making more and more students interested in being a part of this meaningful work.
Helping Hands mission is to help love and serve the communities in need. They have been just as much as a blessing to my students as my students have been to them. I would like to graciously thank John and Kristen Hair for their humble service and for allowing my students to a part of such a wonderful opportunity. The students at Albany Middle School are trailblazing their generation for a brighter future!
Please visit Helping Hands to learn more about their program and how you
can get involved.