Laying the Foundation Today for Tomorrow’s Changemakers

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

This quote from Anne Frank started a recent fourth grade team meeting. Immediately students connected the message and began to think of how they can help make the world a better place—as they are today. One student exclaimed, “I have lots of things that I don’t really need that I can share with others.” As in all grades, fourth grade students regularly put their good intentions into action through service learning projects, and like one fourth grade student said, many of us have more than we need and we can share to help others.
To help do their part to make the world better today, students in grades 4 and 6 ran a Birthday Bag collection in November. After learning about how some Pittsburghers are food insecure and how for many birthday parties are a luxury, grade 4 students partnered with the grade 6 class to make birthday party kits. They advertised the idea to students with posters and announcements in the Lower and Middle Schools, which prompted many donations of cake mixes, frosting, party favors, napkins, and plates. They also wrote birthday cards from students at The Ellis School to include in the packages. After receiving their donations, they assembled the kits with a mixture of excitement and care. Finally, they delivered more than 50 birthday bags to the Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank to brighten many families' days with a birthday party this winter. 

In the spring, the fourth grade class will host the annual Earth Cream sale to serve a local environmental cause. Last year, the fourth grade assisted Lucia SNYDERMAN ’19 in raising money for the Humane Animal Rescue: Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Verona as part of her senior project. She brought purpose to the project by sharing at a Lower School assembly, and as a result, the fourth grade class sold Rita’s Italian Ice at each school lunch last April and raised $1,000 to support wildlife rehabilitation efforts. 

This year, the Class of 2028 will host Earth Cream on Wednesday, April 22. By encouraging participation in a variety of service learning projects throughout the year, Ellis students learn that age or the size or significance of their service shouldn’t hinder their investment in the world around them.