Have-a-Heart Day at Woods teaches students to give (Photos)

Woods Learning Center students prepare to make paper pots for Food for Thought, which are filled with dirt and seeds and meant to be planted whole. Food for Thought often includes the pots in food bags given to food insecure families to help cover nutritional needs over non-school days. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Students aside their daily lessons for one larger lesson on Friday morning at Woods Learning Center.

Instead of school work, students were busy making sandwiches for the needy, crafting Valentine’s cards for children battling cancer, and serving breakfast at the Salvation Army Hope Center.

The activities are done annually during Woods’ Have-a-Heart Day, which teaches children about giving to their community and having empathy to those beyond their inner circles.

Article continues below...

“It’s just a day of giving,” said Woods teacher Nicole Roden. “all of our kindergarten through eighth grade students go out into the community to do volunteer work.”

In the past all of the students would head out into the community. This year, with stricter restrictions on volunteer drivers, some of the programs came to the school to reduce the need for travel.

The program shows students how easy and fulfilling volunteer work can be, said Roden.

“I think its important for all the kids to know other people are going through hard times and there’s something we can do for them,” said Morgan Covert, who was at Woods helping her son Eli and his classmates make Valentine’s cards for kids with cancer.

Last year Eli’s class went to an oncology center, according to Morgan, and he still remembers the experience. “He’ll go up to people who are going through cancer and he’ll give them a hug,” she said.

“I think it’s important especially in today’s society that kids know people are going through things and for them to be sympathetic,” Morgan said.