Not too long ago, on a day like any other, Spring Mill AYS students were chatting about their school day with their program peers. What ended up making this day unusual was that the kids’ conversation soon turned to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which had dominated news stories for several weeks in March.
The students knew that their program still needed to complete a community service project and it wasn’t long before the Spring Mill student leadership crew realized that this was a perfect opportunity for them to get involved.
With support from AYS Program Director Linda Johnson, the kids named their project “Kids for Flint” and started planning a two-week water drive. The students recruited Cry of the Children, a youth development organization based in Bloomington, Indiana, as well as the Salvation Army, to help them in their efforts.
A crew of 4th and 5th graders worked alongside the CEO of Cry of the Children to unload water from a donation truck that arrived from Bloomington. They organized the delivery themselves and even deve loped their own system to unload and stack the water efficiently.
“I was very proud as a director to be a part of helping to develop leadership and empathy skills in my group. I allowed them, with my direction sometimes, to decide how they wanted it done and what they would like the outcome to be,” said Ms. Johnson, when asked about her students’ work.
“I felt we were caring and helpful to others who were in need. It was fun to see how much water we received,” added Ramiyah B., a member of the student leadership team.
As a result of the Spring Mill kids’ efforts, on March 24 more than 200 cases of water (as well as some single gallon jugs!) were picked up for transport to Flint the following week.
We could not be more proud of the work that our students have done and we’re excited to see what they will accomplish in the future.