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Sheridan Hill builds character

Students will make Thanksgiving cards and deliver them to the Harris Hill Nursing Facility.

BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Metro Source | November 15, 2012

A group of teachers from Sheridan Hill Elementary have spent their time focusing and striving to build character in their students. With this goal in mind, they created the Character Club.

The Character Club began as a way to give the students of Sheridan Hill the opportunity to give back to their community and participate in community service. Hesitant about what type of turnout they’d get the teachers went to the PTO for the parents’ advice.

The PTO loved the idea and has helped sponsor the club since it began.

Becky Klein and Debbie Crahen are co-leaders of the Character Club. Along with them, a committee of 11 other teachers plans events for the students to participate in throughout the year. Each event attracts from 100 to 150 students at the school.

These club events are held after school at Sheridan Hill and last about an hour and a half. The club’s next event has become somewhat of a tradition. This is the Thanksgiving event that will take place following school on Monday, Nov. 19.

Seniors from the Harris Hill Nursing Facility will take the trip to the school to have an afternoon of fun. The students will be playing bingo with the seniors as they have for the past few years.

Along with this, Thanksgiving cards will also be made and a group of students will be taking them to the Harris Hill Nursing Facility themselves.

“There are kids that are shy in school and you see them walk up and hand [the seniors] their cards and they carry on conversations,” said Klein. “It’s really neat to be able to see them open up and work on their social skills.”

She added that the seniors at the nursing facility really look forward to this event each year and it really brightens their day.

There will be other ‘give thanks’ themed events taking place throughout the afternoon as well.

“It’s really a very interactive, student centered day,” said Sheridan Hill Elementary Principle Lee Pierce.

National Honor Society students from Clarence High School are also invited each year to volunteer their time at this event. It counts towards their required community service hours. Several teachers also volunteer to help facilitate the events as well as parents from the PTO.

Klein said that one of the best parts of leading this club is seeing the children that were in kindergarten when it began. They are now grown up and “still really eager,” she said.

The Character Club also meets throughout the year for several other events. Around Flag Day, the students write letters to the veterans and to the servicemen and women who are deployed overseas.

For the holidays, they have decorated cookies, collected canned goods for the Buffalo City Mission and have also collected toys and books for the Haven House.

In the spring, the Character Club heads outdoors with a garbage cleanup and to help beautify the school, the kids plant flowers.

“We look for opportunities to give back to the community and to give back to our school,” said Klein.

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