Amazing To The Core

  • University Place Elementary Gives Back

    Posted by Lydia Avant on 2/13/2023

    Students at University Place Elementary worked to give back to the community as part of a recent Service Week Project–putting together 33 gift baskets for local senior citizens. 


    “We wanted our kids to be able to do something for the community around them, because we want them to understand their role in the world,” said Principal Nakelya Mullins. “While they can’t do everything, little things can add up to big things.” 

    As part of the project, UPES students brought in donations–everything from socks to coloring books, crayons and other goodies. Then, each classroom assembled gift baskets, which were given to residents at the Regency Retirement Village’s Memory Care Unit by University Place students on Jan. 30. Every resident received a basket as part of the project. 

    “The residents were so excited,” Mullins said. “The amazing thing was, none of the kids were afraid. They were ready to hug, and it gave our students so much joy to see the residents so excited to receive something.” 

    Sara Livingston, the counselor at UPES, came up with the service project idea after one of her neighbors moved to Regency Retirement Village. 

    “The kids were very excited to bring items, something simple as bringing an extra snack or colored pencils to put in a basket, and it was a project that our students could take ownership of,” Livingston said. “And then for some of these students to be able to see where the baskets were going, made it mean even more."

    One elementary student said they loved meeting all the “grandpas and grannies” at the memory care unit. In addition to the baskets for the residents, a basket of snacks was also given to the employees of the retirement center. 

    “I hope our students learned that there are a lot of people out there who we don’t often think about. And that was one thing, that sometimes residents like these are the ones who get forgotten. So, I hope our students realize that even a small gesture can really brighten someone else’s day.” 

    It was a special experience for University Place kindergartner Maddie Grace White, age 5, who was one of the students to deliver the baskets. 

    “It made me feel good to give the baskets to those people in that place,” White said. “We did it to be nice to them and to show love to them.”

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