Some Lexington-Richland Five students took their kindness lesson outside of the classroom to bring cheer to residents at an assisted living facility in Chapin.Students in Angela Bradley’s first grade class at Chapin Elementary visited Generations of Chapin on Valentine’s Day and delivered the residents homemade cards and treats.

“We started at the beginning of the year thinking of a service project we could do as a class,” said Bradley.  “In the fall we made decorations to place on the residents’ door and I knew I wanted to do more to really be able to interact with them and that’s when I thought of making the residents valentines.”

The class was invited to the retirement home to help with the facility’s Valentine’s Day party.  They handed out valentines and passed out drinks, cupcakes and other snacks to the residents, while also sharing stories, smiles and good company.

Bradley said the goal of the service project is to teach the children about the importance of being kind to others and putting others first.

“I want my first graders to see that they are a vital part of the community and that even though they are young they still play a role in other people’s lives and that it is not always just about them,” added Bradley.  “In first grade social studies we learn that a community is where we live, work and play and what it means to be a contributing citizen.   Being able to participate at Generations gives students a hands on experience of what it means to be a part of their community. I hope they experience joy from doing things for other people.”

The students said this was an experience that they enjoyed taking part in.

“We were giving out cards and saying Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone,” said first grader Kaylynn Evans.  “It felt great because we made other people happy.”

First grader Michael Bonavilla added, “It made me feel happy to pass out cookies and valentines to the residents because when they are happy I am happy too.”

Bradley wants to make this service project an annual event and hopes that other classes will join them.

“The residents really love to see the children so that does my heart good as a teacher to know that my class was able to brighten the residents’ day,” Bradley said.“

At Chapin Elementary School, we believe in the importance of supporting and educating the whole child,” said Chapin Elementary School principal Jesse Hutchinson.  “Teaching children to be good community members, productive citizens, and to care for their fellow man is just as important as the academic content that we teach.  Mrs. Bradley’s first grade class is a great example of the type of kindness that we often see in our young people at Chapin Elementary.  We are so proud of Mrs. Bradley and these young leaders!”

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