Based on all of our workshops, every month we come up with a new service learning project based on what is happening locally and globally. Students learn about an issue that is affecting the world, talk about the feelings that they would be experiencing in a similar situation, foster empathy for those affected, and then come up with an idea for how they can help.
CMH’s art and service-learning programs are designed to help kids become aware of other people’s feelings and to see situations from alternate points of view. Geared primarily toward kindergarten through eighth grade students, CMH’s program helps children explore prejudices, find commonalities and understand what life is like walking in another person’s shoes.
. Students brainstorm possible feelings that people might be experiencing, like fear or sadness, and are encouraged to share personal accounts of when they might have experienced similar emotions. Then they work in groups or individually to create a project that reflects their understanding of the issue and its impact on others.
Art and service-learning projects have included:
- Making recycled toys from plastic water bottles (in some countries, discarded bottles are the only toys children have)
- Recreating the Twin Towers using hand-made paper flowers
- Decorating lunch bags to feed homeless families
At the conclusion of the workshop, students discover that when they put themselves in another person’s shoes, they are more sensitive to what that person is experiencing and less inclined to tease or bully them.
By teaching students to be more conscious of other people’s feelings, CMH helps to reduce bullying and violence and to create safe and respectful school communities.
Some past service-learning projects are listed below and give you a more rounded picture of the inspirational things our children do.
Five days, fifty-two inches, thousands of kids living in the convention center. The Girl Scouts of America hosted a jamboree to have an empathy workshop. After the workshop, the students attending decided they wanted to write letters to the kids effected by the flooding to let them know that we have their back and that we're thinking of them. We had schools that continued to provide hope and support through September.
Feed Our Kids
In the workshops we realized that some of the students had families who ran out of food stamps at the end of each month. The kids knew the school provided meals for students during the week, but wanted to provide for the weekends as well. They decorated bags for lunches that could be sent home. The bags were covered in beautiful artwork, messages of hope and fellowship, and even the children's own stickers, flowers, and other art supplies
The community was asked to donate toys for the Children’s Hospital, as the holiday season is always particularly difficult for families who are struggling with the health of their children. Kids who are ill want to play too! That way parents have toys ready to give their children without having to leave their bedside to go shopping.
Service Craft Club
We’ve created a class that meets for an hour Mondays through Thursday where we do different crafts for the community at large. For example, on Grandparents Day we sent cards to the convalescence home for those who may not have grandchildren, or whose grandchildren live far away. At the holidays, they made crafts for kids who lived in foster homes. We also created crafts for children of veterans on Veterans Day to show their love and solidarity.
One Sunday, in partnership with Los Angeles All-Stars and the local community came together for a Kindness Community Event. We made friendship bracelets with tags for joy, love, and hope to send to the children in Puerto Rico whose lives had been turned upside down. Students decided to make bracelets in order to give something concrete that symbolized their solidarity, so children in Puerto Rico could carry our love with them wherever they went
Up and Coming event! Students decorated bookmarks to give away with the books from our summer book drive, encouraging literacy and kindness among their friends and neighbors. Soon we will hold the book drive for students who cannot afford to buy them during the summer. Without the drive, these students might not have anything to read during their months away from school. Fostering reading in children is vital to their development and future success.