Making A Difference: Plymouth Elementary and Cradles to Crayons

To honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Plymouth Elementary School students are already thinking about back-to-school 2021-2022 with a service project that supports the local nonprofit organization Cradles to Crayons.

boy with. dozen paper buses with messages written on them

PE First Grader Jonah DeBovis with buses he decorated with positive messages for Cradles to Crayons.

"It made me feel good, because I was doing something for someone else," said PE First Grader Jonah DeBovis.

At the start of each new school year, Cradles to Crayons includes a handmade card with every new backpack full of school supplies they distribute. The PE Spirit Team is encouraging families to work together to make at least one "back to school" card that shares encouraging words to help the receiving child field optimistic and excited about learning.

"I feel happy, because I want them to feel good when they see my card," said PE First Grader Molly Gates. 

While PE families have until February 5 to bring in the cards, the project began as a way for the children to participate in socially-distanced service learning for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said: 'Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?' At PE, we do a number of service projects so that students can learn how to do for others and build community," said Kylene Phillips, Acting Principal at PE. "On MLK Day specifically, we honor his dream by doing the work. A world that is just and equitable is possible, but it is only possible when we all push for it through collective action and in living in service to others."

Cradles to Crayons plans to give away 50,000 backpacks this summer for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.