Our parents tell us they value AYS because, among other things, we keep their kids safe; help them with their homework; provide them with an after-school snack; and, offer them fun and healthy activities.
Here’s something else we know our moms and dads appreciate: at AYS, all of our programs are required to weave in elements of community service.
A great example of this was recently on display at an AYS program at one of our Washington Township schools.
Earlier this month, a 2nd grade AYS participant told her fellow students that she and her mom were working on a project to gather stuffed animals for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).
Her AYS friends loved the idea and latched on to it. Together, they launched a stuffed animal drive aimed at getting donations from the whole school.
As you can see, their drive was extremely successful! The AYS-led endeavor, coupled with the 2nd grader’s mom’s effort at a local high school, resulted in more than 600 toys being collected for IMPD officers.
On Feb. 12, the program’s “leadership committee,” which is made up of 4th and 5th graders, organized and hosted a special, surprise celebration for IMPD. During the event, officers were presented with the hundreds of toys, which will be used when they come across a child who may need to squeeze a comforting stuffed animal.
Thank you to Kristina Duff, program director at the Washington Township school, for all she is doing to encourage community service projects like this one. And, of course, we are so proud of all of the students who participated, and made a difference in the lives of kids across Central Indiana.
Have an idea for an AYS community service project? Let us know! And please feel free to share your thoughts about this post below.