Column: Club K-MAD off to great start at Worthington Christian SchoolWORTHINGTON — Adults, teens and children are often challenged to “do the right thing.” Sin in the world causes a struggle between what we want to do versus what we know we should do. Day-to-day decisions and choices can have a positive or negative effect on our lives and the lives of those around us.
By: Lori Eekhoff, Worthington Christian School, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Adults, teens and children are often challenged to “do the right thing.” Sin in the world causes a struggle between what we want to do versus what we know we should do. Day-to-day decisions and choices can have a positive or negative effect on our lives and the lives of those around us. How, then, do we break this down and teach our students that their daily choices can truly make a difference in their homes, in their school, in their communities and in their world?
There is a new club at Worthington Christian School that is striving to accomplish this task. Club K-MAD, Kids Making a Difference, was created with one specific goal: provide students with the opportunity to choose to make a positive difference. Club K-MAD, under the leadership of Deb Vander Kooi, meets weekly during noon break and is open to students of all ages. It is about choices, so students may choose to participate in club activities one week and not the next. It is our desire that students make a conscious choice to make a difference in the life of others, not be forced into doing so. Club K-MAD also encourages student leadership as students are an instrumental part of planning the service projects.
Club K-MAD members have organized several projects already this academic year. Students quickly responded to the goal of Club K-Mad; many chose to give up their noon recess to collect trash on the Worthington Christian School property. Our location along Interstate 90 leaves us with more than the average amount of trash on the playground and tree line. The next week, students were busy picking up sticks on our large lot. Having kids learn about the gift of giving back and doing something for others is a great joy, but seeing kids enjoying what they are doing encourages others to do the same. So, on this particular event, it really made me excited to see them jumping up and down to pack as many sticks into the back of the pickup to do the best job they could and have a great time doing it. It also can encourage someone to do something for someone else. What a great ripple effect!
Another benefit of Club K-MAD is the integration of the students from the kindergartners to the eighth-graders. Having an older student help a younger student who is trying to carry the biggest branch he can find on the yard is a way of teaching leadership and involvement. That is something we as administration cannot make happen but we hope it will spread. Another outcome of this club is the students coming together to take pride in their school and its surroundings. To have a student that understands the work it takes to keep a place neat and clean means they care more about it and take ownership of it. Many times in my day I know that what I see taking place with students choosing to make a positive difference in their surroundings is going to have a lasting impact on their families, immediate communities or even farther.
Club K-MAD is also about making a positive difference in the lives of others. Recently, the students made ornaments and decorated a tree for the Forest of Trees fundraising event organized by Love Inc. It was decided by the club that the tree and decorations would be donated to a family in the Worthington area. They do not know who the tree went to, but they do know that they made someone else’s Christmas a bit brighter. Club members also participated in the Community Christmas Basket event. Organizers challenged all students to become involved and donate toiletry items such as shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and much more. Club members then took these items and packaged them into individual gift bags, and they now have been donated to people around the area through this community involvement program. Sometimes life is as simple as putting together the everyday necessities into the hands of others and not taking it for granted.
Club K-MAD has now decided to broaden its scope of influence and do something that would make a difference in the world. Worthington Christian School will be collecting and redeeming pop cans. To most people pop cans are something they might just toss in the garbage, but Club K-MAD wants to take someone else’s garbage and use it. The money that the club receives from the recycled cans will be used to buy chickens for families across the ocean. One large chicken can be purchased for only 72 pop cans! Club K-MAD is excited to see how many chickens WCS students will be able to provide families with this year. So now we are asking you to partner with us helping others. If you have cans that you are interested in donating, please contact the school (376-4861) to arrange a pick-up time, or you may drop off any cans during school hours.
Each person has a choice to make. How will you make a positive difference today?
Upcoming WCS events: Dec. 10 Annual donation auction; Dec. 16 Christmas program.
Lori Eekhoff is principal at Worthington Christian School.