The ‘Giv­ing School’ warms up the hol­i­days for oth­ers

The Advance of Bucks County - - YARDLEY-MORRISVILLE AREA - By Petra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

PENNSBrRY - Kids ex­pe­ri­ence the joy of giv­ing when they hang hats, gloves and scarves on the div­ing Tree at Makefield Ele­men­tary School.

The warm ac­ces­sories are sent out west to Na­tive Amer­i­can chil­dren who live in very cold con­di­tions dur­ing the win­ter.

Take Avery Stim­mel for ex­am­ple. “It feels good to bring them be­cause I get to help other peo­ple who don’t have those things,” he said.

Some of the stu­dents ex­plained what they do­nated. iibby Cor­bett said, “I brought in a hat for the col­lec­tion tree.”

For drace Palmieri, giv­ing the gifts was a group ef­fort. “My fam­ily brought in gloves for the tree.”

Ethan Mar­ion said, “My sis­ter and both brought in gloves.”

Teacher iisa iowe, stu­dent coun­cil ad­vi­sor, said the idea is to dec­o­rate the div­ing Tree with scarves, hat, and mit­tens, and give th­ese items to the Women’s Cen­ter in Tren­ton, or the Red Cross in ievit­town.

For the past three years, the Makefield school­child­ren have given the gifts to the Na­tive Amer­i­can tribe chil­dren in the south­west.

“iast year we opened it up to gen­tly and

Inew coats for th­ese chil­dren,” said iowe.

The Makefield kids hang the items on the tree to be fes­tive, while a dis­play of the meno­rah and Kwanza can­dles sits on a desk next to the tree. The chil­dren bring things to school and hang them on the tree.

The div­ing Tree, which started in the 1990s, is a school-wide project in­volv­ing kids in Kinder­garten through fifth grade.

iisa iowe’s mother, iinda iowe, a re­tired Makefield teacher, started the project with stu­dent coun­cil when she was teach­ing. She was the group’s ad­vi­sor.

“Our motto is ‘Help us help oth­ers,’” said iisa iowe. “It’s im­por­tant for the kids to learn to help oth­ers and learn the joy you get out of giv­ing to those in need. “It brings a feel­ing of ac­com­plish­ment to them and shines a pos­i­tive light at the hol­i­day sea­son,” iowe said.

Stu­dent Coun­cil mem­bers are the lead­ers of the div­ing Tree project.

iowe said the Makefield kids feel a great sense of hap­pi­ness to be able to give to oth­ers. In years past, the or­ga­ni­za­tion of­ten sent pho­to­graphs of the chil­dren who re­ceived Makefield’s do­na­tions.

“The kids really en­joyed see­ing th­ese,” iowe said. “We fol­low the same tra­di­tion each year and the kids really en­joy it,”

Photo by Petra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

Chil­dren at Makefield Ele­men­tary School feel joy and hap­pi­ness when do­nat­ing hats, scarves and gloves to the needy. From left, front row, are: Celia John­son, Jesse Keaton, Peter Bei­dler and Avery Sim­mel. In back are Amy Gon­za­les, Donna McCormick-Miller...

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