Casady sophomores Sahanya Bhaktaram and Mason Thomas, and freshman, Ashley Cooper Lindstrom's proposal "It's Your Turn to Serve" for Dare to Dream, the 28th Annual National Service Learning Conference, has been selected for the conference showcase to be hosted at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. Showcase participants are encouraged to share information about service or service-learning project or program and the impact of the project through a display that illustrates the work, engages attendees, and inspires others. The Dare to Dream Showcase Proposal
Casady upper and middle divisions use YAC, Youth active in the community as a platform to provide kids the opportunity to serve. Our showcase focuses on three specific projects: Rachel’s Challenge, Peace week, and Special Care. We will share what we did and why.
Describe the impact the project has had in your community
Special Care gives teens an opportunity to spend time and interact with kids who have disabilities. Personally, it has taught me understanding, patience, and most of all empathy. It has impacted the community by helping parents with kids that have disabilities go to work, knowing that their kids are still getting the attention they need. For Peace week this year at Casady we decorated the halls with silhouettes of peace, paper people of all different skin tones decorated by children from different schools and shelters. These silhouettes remind our community of our diversity and our unity to be kind to one another. Rachel’s Challenge teaches kids to learn how kindness can stop bullying without coming face to face with the bully. It changes people, into living with happiness instead of anger.
Describe what makes your project unique
Rachel’s Challenge lets kids see kindness in their schools through a different perspective. It allows kids to listen and seek out kindness. The chain signifies the kindness happening in their community. Special Care is unique because their new facility opened a couple of years ago and has grown greatly. It gives children with special needs the ability to interact with children their age without the feeling of adults hovering. It gives kids the opportunity to interact in a mainstream social environment. Peace week is unique because we use silhouettes of peace to bring people together, this idea was created by Mason. They may represent kindness but they also bring peace between groups with different skin tones.
The Casady Dare to Dream Team will be showcasing their personal projects as described in their proposal. The YAC sponsor, Mrs. Carmen Clay has also prepared a PP of service experiences promoted at Casady by its service-learning council, YAC (Youth Active in the Community), faculty, and administration. YAC's mission is to participate in the community to improve lives. The Casady Service-Learning Program's mission is to "Empower entrepreneurs of peace and social change". View "The Infinitive Paths to Peace, What is Yours? Powepoint that will accompany the Dare to Dream Team Showcase here. The team will also feature a t-shirt quilt of service projects as a table cover.
Cooper Lindstrom will showcase her advocacy to stop bullying through kindness. She started her Kindness Chain Reaction inspired by Rachel's Challenge in the Middle Division as an eight grader. Before Random Acts of Kindness Week, Cooper presented her project at chapel and motivated peers and faculty to "catch acts of kindness they observed and write them on rectangular pieces of paper." Cooper has been creating a chain of kindness acts with those strips in the month of February. Senior Nicole Jia, Miss America, Outstanding Teen,connected her National Kindness Day Activity to Cooper's kindness initiative. In its second year at the Upper Division, Nicole promoted sending kindness grams with kindness messages and lollipops to peers to celebrate the day. The service-learning program placed mints at faculty mailboxes to thank them for their help and kindness with Upper Division service projects. Nicole is also promoting the Warm Project for the second consecutive year. Each grade will make blankets which will be delivered to Positive Tomorrows when finished. Nicole's platform is #be selfless. Nicole is theofficial National Teen Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. Casady's Student Council Project, in its third year will be an April Walk-A-Thon with proceeds benefiting Children's Hospital. Cooper and Nicole's focused on Kindness in the month of February inspired, Lower Division faculty, Mrs. Megan Thompson who created the LD Garden of Kindness Bulletin Board. Children from 1st to 4th grade are adding their blooming flowers of kindness to the beautiful bulletin board which will be displayed at the Lower Division during the ISAS Arts Festival.
Mason Thomas will showcase her "Peace Silhouettes" project. Mason had an out of the box idea when she was at the Primary Division and observed the children's decorations for their World Banquet. The children decorated small cardboard figures to represent people around the world participating at their world banquet. At the end of the school year 2015-2016, Mason requested the purchase of materials to decorated figures as people from around the world and place them on buildings to have a visual connection to our world's diversity like we did with world religions in the previous year. In the month of August, Casady Upper Division art classes, Casady After School Care, Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village, and Boys and Girls Club Art Classes received the materials requested by Mason and decorated multicultural cardboard silhouettes following the chapel theme for this school year, "I AM". Mason created murals with the silhouettes at every Upper Division building during Peace Week-11 Days of Global Unity (9/11-9/21, 2016).
The children and teens decorated silhouettes were an artistic connection to respect and understanding of our Oklahoma diversity and our unity in addressing the challenges of the themes of the week with awareness of the themes of the week through chapels speeches, and acts of service, kindness, compassion,and honor, the Oklahoma Standard. The Peace Silhouettes were also connecting seeds to new mentoring initiatives. Senior Erik Rangel has been exploring schedules for a mentoring program with Western Village. The Peace Silhouettes made by the Casady after school care children will be displayed at the Activities building during the ISAS Arts Festival.
Sahanya Bhaktaram will be featuring her service with Special Care Youth Board and its developing connections to Casady junior, Zac Conner, Best Buddies International Project, and Casady freshman, Aaron Puffinbarger, 2-WATRR project. As part of his Independent Study Course, Skills for Action: Classroom with a Cause, Aaron aims to build a new 2-Wheelchair Accessible Track for Andrew Johnson Elementary. Zac's project aims to start a mentoring program between Casady Upper Division Cyclones and the after school care program at Special Care.
Sahanya will also feature her commitment to serving to end Oklahoma hunger with collaborative YAC projects such as the Casady Cans Do Students Against Hunger Food Drive and YAC connections to Casady Cares administrative initiatives of professional development mornings at the Food Bank before school starts. Sahanya will also share her ongoing project of promoting once a month volunteering at Boys and Girls Club at Memorial Park, a Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Kids Cafe and YAC's connection to helping helping OKC homeless with projects such as Sophomore's Ellisson Guzzy, Perfect Pair, benefiting the Homeless Alliance.
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