WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Learning to give back is a message being spread in a classroom in the Watertown City School District this holiday season.
Watertown High School’s Child Development class is currently finishing out its campaign to collect hygiene and baby products for two organizations that serve the area.
The class is taught by Vicky Kolb, and ranges on topics from child conception, to becoming a parent and more. But pulling away from classroom lessons, she said her inspiration for this campaign was to help her students find passion, especially as many continue to struggle with hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was inspired to start this project because there has been so much loom and gloom with the pandemic. I was trying to find ways to bring positivity to the kids, as well as other people,” Kolb said. “So we came up with this community outreach program, and my students really stepped up.”
For over a month, the class has been asking each classroom at Watertown High School to bring in items that fit this criterion, such as feminine products, baby bottles, formula, toothbrushes, and more.
Prior to starting the project, the class called over 20 organizations to determine who was in need and eventually narrowed it down to the Victim’s Assistance Center and Neighbors of Watertown.
Watertown Sophomore Kyleigh Wesseldine, played a large role in the first stages, as she helped contact organizations and lead her class.
“We picked [the Victim’s Assistance Center and Neighbors of Watertown] because one, they were the most in need, and we felt that those were the best places to go to because we feel as though they don’t get the most donations,” she said.
Lexi Jones, a Junior, assisted Wesseldine to call organizations, She said the project has been rewarding, especially to know that the products will help those who need them most.
“I know people out there that don’t want to ask for help, they don’t want to ask for help,” Jones shared. “So whatever [the organizations] choose to do with these [donations] people can just walk up and take what they need.
11-grader Natalia Moore also helped to spread awareness throughout the high school by creating posters. She said the response from peers has been positive, but the message the class is trying to spread is most important.
“it’s important for us to learn about these things so that we can learn that everybody needs help at some point, and everyone does struggle,” Moore expressed.
As the campaign has exceeded even Kolb’s expectations, students said it is has been inspiring knowing that they can give back during a trying holiday season.
Watertown High School’s Child Development class will stop collecting donations on December 20, and visit each organization with all items on December 21.