AP Lit students help make a difference partnering with Ada Elementary and the Children’s Healing center

AP Lit students help make a difference partnering with Ada Elementary and the Childrens Healing center

Giving back to the community is a great way to display gratitude and thankfulness. This is exactly what Mrs. Schrotenboer did with her senior AP students this year, and her passion is evident for her love to giving back with her continuation to do so year after year.

“We do a collaboration with Ada Elementary, so third and fourth graders come here [to Forest Hills Central High School], and we do different projects related to English Language Arts,” Schrotenboer said. “Most specifically, we do reading, and then we also adopt a community program. This year we are [working with] Children’s Healing Center.”

Ada Elementary had “Giving Tuesday” to raise money for the Children’s Healing Center. In total, the whole elementary school raised over $1200. This center is for children with illnesses that cannot be exposed to germs; therefore, they require an environment that is 98% germ-free. The Children’s Healing Center is a place for children to have a time and place to do normal activities among the difficulties they are facing. Whether the child is going through chemo or has a disorder, they are all welcome. A place for children to feel free, safe, and without worry about the troubles they are facing is paramount to their development.

The money raised by Ada Elementary was donated to the Children’s Healing Center for families who cannot afford this for their kids. As it is a nonprofit organization, insurance does not cover the costs for the care that is provided at the Children’s Healing Center.

The price tag for a yearly membership is relatively small; although, when a child is undergoing so much treatment, a seemingly small amount of money rapidly adds up with the medical bills that so quickly multiply. Financial strain should not be the reason children are not allowed access to a safe haven when they need it most.

“Anything that can be [done] to provide families with disabilities is a huge thing,” Schrotenboer said.

Senior Sydney Bruneau loved having the opportunity to teach the children more about accessibility and the high school.

“My buddy’s name was Kenzie, and she was super sweet. At first, it was a tad awkward, because she was a third grader in a high school, and I can imagine that it would be quite scary and nerve-racking to come to a strange school, meet strange people, and be expected to do things with them for more than an hour,” Sydney said.

Sydney is looking forward to reconnecting with her buddy in the spring.

The High School student is assigned a student to “mentora�� throughout the year. The students stick with each other, they send giggle videos, cards, and help out the 3rd and 4th graders with Language Arts. Four times a year the students get to connect and talk with one another. The elementary students look up to the high schoolers.

“Kenzie and I talked about how cool the children’s healing center was,” Sydney said. “I’m glad that there is such a cool program set up for kids who are ill because it is a good source of hope and encouragement in their lives,” Sydney said.

Senior Jack Ziegler had a very positive outlook on the experience as well.

“It was incredibly awesome to work with kids and help them on a tour of the high school, and answer any questions that they have about accessibility or high school in general,” Jack said.

Jack also looks forward to the next time he gets to reconnect with his 4th-grade buddy.

A heart full of gratitude does us good. And that’s exactly how the students felt when being there for the elementary students and teaching them the importance of accessibility. What better way to combine learning with giving back.

“I think everyone had a great time and look forward to seeing each other again,” Jack said.