KCA students spend last day of school helping others

Landon Wright (right), Kingdom Christian Academy fifth-grader sews a cool tie, a garment with special material inside to keep the neck cool, Thursday for soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The fifth grade class donated food, toiletries and other items to soldiers for the Operation Freedom project.

Landon Wright (right), Kingdom Christian Academy fifth-grader sews a cool tie, a garment with special material inside to keep the neck cool, Thursday for soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The fifth grade class donated food, toiletries and other items to soldiers for the Operation Freedom project. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

They may not have been centered on reading, writing and arithmetic, but according to their teachers, Kingdom Christian Academy students were still learning valuable lessons on their last day of school Thursday.

Rather than the usual field day, students school-wide instead took part in Service Day, performing community service projects throughout Fulton.

In place of foot races and water balloon tosses, they did work at Harmony Hills Youth Camp, wrote cards and letters for soldiers, packed lunches for the Buddy Pac program and painted tombstones at Fulton State Hospital among other projects.

“Our focus changed from just having fun to having fun doing something for somebody else,” sixth grade and language arts teacher Mary Safire said of the change.

Safire spent the afternoon at Presbyterian Manor, where middle school students visited with and entertained the residents.

“I was just really pleased with the enthusiastic interaction they had with the residents — that was really fun to watch,” Safire said.

Eighth-grader Madeline Wilson said the best part of playing games and singing for the seniors was “being able to see their smiles and know you made their day.”

“They have some really cool stories to tell,” Wilson said. “They were telling us about how different their childhood was from ours.”

Sixth-grader Alex Armstrong said he chose to go the the local nursing home because he saw that it included singing. Like Wilson, he said his favorite part was “just the wisdom of the old people and how cheerful they are.”

Classmate Heidi Royer, a seventh grader, also said that was her favorite part.

“I know when God calls us he doesn’t expect us to get anything in return, but seeing the smiles on their faces is enough,” Royer said. “I like the connections you can make. I talk a lot and I enjoy interacting with people.”

She said community service is important because “that’s what God calls us to do.”

“It shows people we do care, because that’s what KCA is about,” Royer said. “With every act of love, we call Jesus here.”

Meanwhile, KCA fourth graders were at SERVE, Inc. helping sort items for the food pantry.

Lily Meyers said she was “just glad we’re getting to help little kids and older kids survive and that something good comes out of this.”

“It was also really fun because I got to hang out with my friends on the last day of school,” Meyers said.

Classmate Meghan Aver said she also enjoyed doing community service “because that is what I like doing.”

“I love doing it because it’s so fun and it gives me a great feeling,” Aver said. “It’s important to serve your community so it can be the best it can be.”

Jesse Peterson liked working at SERVE “so people can have enough food,” as well.

Like his fellow KCA students, Eric Rider said “it’s fun to work for the Lord.”

“It’s important just to help people out and be a blessing to them,” Rider said.

Fourth grade teacher Melodie Dillon echoed Safire when she said she enjoyed watching the students learn that they could have fun and help others at the same time.

“I heard more than once ‘This is the funnest last day of school I’ve ever had,’” Dillon said. “They are really enjoying working together and doing something for somebody. They’re having fun with it.”

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