Spanish Students Service Project

Onekama Consolidated Schools Spanish students Elizabeth Domres (left) and Carlee Pepera show off the books 
they made to help children attending Michigan Migrant Head Start learn both Spanish and English. 

G is for GIVING
Onekama Spanish Students Give the Gift of Time

 

An integral part of Spanish class at Onekama Consolidated Schools is service learning. Each year, Spanish students give back to their community through the creation of books to help children attending Michigan Migrant Head Start learn both Spanish and English.  

 

Michigan Migrant Head Start services low-income children of migrant workers, ages two years old to five from June to October throughout 18 different locations in Michigan.  This non-profit organization relies on federal and state funding, foundations, and donations.


In order to receive federal funding, however, Head Start is required to show in-kind support from the community.  In-kind contributions consist of goods or services, other than cash.  In an effort to help Head Start meet this requirement, Onekama students spend their “Fiesta Fridays” in Spanish class making books, which not only satisfies their community service requirement but also helps the Migrant Head Start fulfill their need for in-kind support. 

 

“Kids who don't know how to read can learn to read from our books. That would feel so great to know that my book did a good deed in the world. We also can work on our artistic skills too. So, it’s a small project but a lot of things come out of it.”


 

Damian Mendoza-Thompson works on his book. Spanish students at Onekama Consolidated Schools give back to their community through the creation of books to help children attending Michigan Migrant Head Start learn both Spanish and English. 


Onekama students have been working with the Bear Lake location for several years, but they were surprised to discover just how great of an impact their book project had for their local Migrant Head Start. 

 

Last year, the Bear Lake Head Start received $50,327.00 in in-kind support.  Of that money, the Onekama students raised $31,106.00.

“Migrant Head Start books, in my opinion, are fun,” comments Freshman Carlee Pepera. “Besides the fact that I like to draw, it feels good to know that you can do something for other people that aren't as fortunate as us. It is also fun to see all of the different books the other students come up with.” Pepera contributes multiple books each year, often created in her free time.

 
  Junior Brandi Kilbourn also enjoys the project.  “I like making the Migrant Head Start books because not only are we learning words but we are also giving back,” says Kilbourn

Brandi Kilbourn shows off her book, 
which will help Head Start children learn Spanish and English. Kilbourn is a student in Onekama Consolidated Schools’s Spanish class.


 “It is amazing to know that our actions have had such a positive effect,” says Onekama Spanish teacher Naomi Kolehmainen. “It is a reminder to my students that our learning is meaningful, our actions are powerful, and that there is a world outside our school building looking for people like us who are ready to help make a difference.”




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