No present like time, Bexley students learn

 

Day by Day:
No present like time, Bexley students learn

By LIZ THOMPSON

Dec 3, 2018
This Week Community News

One of the best gifts we can give someone is time.

In October, 172 Bexley (Ohio) eighth-graders heard from speakers about community projects to help them choose how to serve their town with 15 hours of service.

Crystal Carley is the seventh- and eighth-grade language-arts teacher and community-project manager for Bexley City Schools.

“I asked speakers to talk about how they married their interests with a need in their community,” Carley said. “Students listened attentively and asked relevant questions that helped them understand possible avenues for service for their project.”

Speakers included Tim White with Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Taylor Nolan with She Has a Name, whose mission is to fight human trafficking.

Student Maya Murray was surprised to hear about human trafficking in central Ohio.

“I already knew what it was but things like that are hard to think about,” she said. “As a teen, the world will soon be in our care and so it is important that we take action to stop things like this and that our parents also inform us so we can protect ourselves and help other teens … escape the abuse.”

Speakers who are parents of students included Tricia Keels, Laura Robertson-Boyd, Monique Lampke and Deborah Grayson.

Keels started Souper Heroes. The organization holds dinners across the city from October through May during which volunteers serve homemade soups to guests. Donations benefit hunger-relief organizations.

Lampke spoke on the Make-A-Wish Foundation; Grayson talked about teaching English to refugees.

“The project that interested me the most was the one with the refugees,” student Keira Murray said. “I like anything that helps with the community but especially something more direct where we can help our community and get to know the people we are helping.

“I love being able to meet and work with people and think it is especially important to hear directly from them and what their experiences are. To me, the ‘unity’ part in (the word) community is very important.”

Keira said she believes volunteering is a way to get to know more people and build stronger bonds.

“We can reach out to people and with time they might reach back,” Keira said, “and then together we will be able to make a change.”

The students also learned about the Ronald McDonald House and Salvation Army. Bexley City Schools staff member Sandi Hoover talked about mission trips to Guatemala.

Meagan Warren, a sophomore and founder of Books for Bedtime, shared about her nonprofit organization and her efforts to promote literacy.

Student Evelyn Holzhall said she was surprised there were so many charities in the heart of town. She was interested in learning about Grayson’s work with immigrants.

She learned female immigrants and members of the charity meet to talk in English about their lives and culture.

“Grayson told us one time they cooked a recipe one of the women brought in after they put it into English,” Evelyn said. “Another day, they celebrated the feast of Ramadan. The immigrant families were so welcoming they even let the charity workers into their home for the feast.”

Evelyn said she was glad to learn about the efforts, but in the end, she chose to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“I had known of it since I was 6, and it holds a place deep in my heart,” she said. “I just think it is awful for a kid to die of sickness at such a young age, but even more awful for their dreams to never come true.”

To Evelyn, volunteering assists the charities to help those in need, but it also ties her community together.

“If you give time out of your day to help members of our own community … our community would be so close and always caring for one another, and to me, that’s just awesome.”

Consider adding time to your gift list. These teens did with genuine enthusiasm.

 

 

 

 

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Holidays allow time to reflect, reexamine life

Holidays allow time to reflect, reexamine life
Liz Thompson
This Week News
December 4, 2014

What time is it? Our most natural reaction, when we hear this question, is to glance at our watch or clock.

In 2004, I worked in an elementary school in Arizona where students took turns each morning announcing the date, time, daily lunch menu and special events over the intercom from the principal’s office. One day, when the students looked at the clock on the wall, they couldn’t read the time so the principal told them.

The clock they could not read was analog; the “old fashioned” clock with “hands” most of us older than 30 used learning to read time.

Staff learned of this situation when the principal visited each classroom. When she saw all clocks were digital, analog clocks were ordered for the entire school.

The principal realized it’s a digital age, but she knew the importance of knowing how to read clocks both ways.

We use time to mark most things in our lives. The song, Turn! Turn! Turn! , written by Pete Seeger in the 1950s, during a relatively stable time in our country, was made popular in our more turbulent 1960s when recorded (on vinyl, not digital) by The Byrds. It’s all about the value of time. Based on the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 the lyrics tell us:

“To everything – turn, turn, turn, There is a season – turn, turn, turn, And a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die, A time to plant, a time to reap, A time to kill, a time to heal, A time to laugh, a time to weep.

A time to build up, a time to break down, A time to dance, a time to mourn, A time to cast away stones, A time to gather stones together.

A time of love, a time of hate, A time of war, a time of peace, A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose, A time to rend, a time to sew, A time for love, a time for hate, A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late!”

Are you singing or humming along? I listened to it online and sang along, remembering and being amazed Bible verses were made popular in the mainstream music industry.

Last month began what advertisers call the countdown to Christmas, marking shopping days left. I prefer to dwell on the purpose we celebrate on December 25 which leads into the time for celebrating the end and start of another year gone by. Often we take this time to reflect and reexamine our lives, maybe making a resolution to stop something unhealthy and become more healthful-minded. The latter might happen as a result of indulging too much in the good food everywhere we turn, including our own kitchens, especially with the sweets we love during this time.

We might resolve to exercise more, lose that extra weight, volunteer, study harder, spend more time with family or friends and more.

Whatever we resolve, or not, it is a time to start fresh with a new year. We see depictions of Old Man Time with a flowing beard passing the New Year to a baby representing the new months ahead. He ages fast, eh?

When I look back at my 6-plus decades, I wish I had been more present in the moments and not always pushing for the future. I see our grandchildren growing taller, smarter, and more talented than us (thanks be to God), and hope they will learn from our experiences and be more aware of the everyday blessings surrounding them.

My 92-year old mother has the right idea. She says this year she is reversing her age making her a mere 29. She said she can do this every decade for the first four years meaning I’m only 36 this year. Ah, to have this experience and a more youthful physique. How often have you heard or said, “If I knew then what I know now…”

My wise mother comes in again to tell me that as we age we have more time to reflect yet time seems to move much faster. “When we’re young, we are raising families and working just trying to get it all done each day before collapsing into slumber (unless we have a sleepless baby).”

Whether you read digital or analog clocks matters not. It’s how you spend the time that counts.