The Pencil Project: Middle School students collect over 1,500 pencils to send to children in need!
During the month of November, Ms. Carrozzi's 6th, 7th and 8th grade ESL Language Arts students at the Melvin H. Kreps Middle School in East Windsor, NJ, studied about writing in the persuasive voice. They also learned how to format professional letters. With these skill sets in mind, we embarked upon a thematic unit to explore human rights issues and the global crises that many of their peers around the world must face.
In particular, we focused upon the inequality and unjust treatment of abandoned children in South Korea. Jacob's Home is a social welfare service which runs a school for children who have been abandoned by their parents. The Korean government refuses to provide aid to the school because of the social stigmatism against these children. If the school runs out of supplies, it must close and the students who live there will not be able to get an education. Our students could not fathom the idea of children not being able to go to school-- Here in the US, we believe that a free, public education is an inalienable right to which all children are entitled.
Using the information they had learned, our students launched a global outreach project to collect school supplies for children in need. They wrote personalized letters to each and every staff member at MHK, asking them to donate one new pencil to our cause. Ms. Carrozzi and her kids figured they would be able to collect around 100 pencils, but were absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of the students and staff at Kreps.
The students collected pencils all throughout the month of November and in total, received more than 1,500 pencils to send to children in need! In addition to this, Ms. Carrozzi's class partnered with Angela Swain and Laura Lee's Life Skills class, who generously donated pencils and shipping funds collected from their annual Thanksgiving Luncheon.
The 6th grade students further extended The Pencil Project into a multi- disciplinary mathematics unit, creating a class line graph and charting our daily totals. Students would come in during their lunch period to count pencils, bundle them in ten's, and prepare them to be shipped abroad.
Because of the overwhelmingly positive response from everyone at Kreps, we were not only able to send pencils to students in South Korea, but also to children in Haiti, Kenya and Colombia. The hard work and compassion of our students and our Kreps family is beyond commendable, and we hope that it will be recognized within the community here in Central New Jersey.