Southeast students ready to hold April 2 event

Southeast students ready to hold April 2 event

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Some elementary students from Southeast Local Schools are hoping to help the community on April 2 from 1-3 p.m. at John R. Lea Middle School in Apple Creek.

The Sharing Is Caring event is open to anyone from the community with items including 2,000 books of all genres for children and adults; clothing and shoes; and household items including desks, TV stands, a table, an exercise bike and a kids bike. Offerings will be available on a first-come basis. Several prom dresses that were worn once also will be up for grabs. All items are free.

Child care will be provided by the students with games and activities they have created. Heather Riebe, the gifted intervention specialist teacher in the Southeast District, will be there to supervise, and free snacks will be on hand.

Technology classes taught by two fourth-graders and one fifth-grader also will be held. They hope to help senior citizens navigate computers and learn techniques such as copy and paste.

“I chose this project because I like technology, and I really like helping people learn, and I want people to know that there is more to technology than video games, for you can do amazing things when you learn how to do it correctly,” said Addy Conrad, a fourth-grader who will be one of the tech teachers.

The Southeast Local gifted program is putting this event together as a part of its Genius Hour project. The event, spearheaded by Riebe, was developed from a concept based on kids being able to explore their passions from the book, “Genius Hour Guidebook: Fostering Passion, Wonder, and Inquiry in the Classroom.” After researching something they are passionate about, students develop a passion project.

“These projects can either be service, design or learning projects,” Riebe said. “I have numerous projects going on currently. Some students are designing STEAM classrooms using SketchUp while others are learning about particular interests such as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. This group of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders wanted to focus on service,” and Sharing Is Caring was born.

Fifth-grader Kylie Snyder is one of the students who helped plan the event.

“I chose to do this project because I enjoy helping people,” she said. “When I was younger, I won a game and some money. I chose to donate this money, and ever since I just love the feeling of helping people. I also chose to do this project so others will see us and think, ‘Wow, I want to help people just like they did.’ Coming together as a community to help others is a great thing to do.”

There also will be a 50/50 raffle, and proceeds will go to charities voted on by the students. Nothing will be kept by the program.

The students will wear shirts to identify them as staff.

“Please ask them for help before an adult,” Riebe said. “They are the leaders, creators and reason for the event. The students selected this project to engage their hearts, minds and passions into a good deed. The children are hoping to fill any needs that resulted as an effect of COVID or hard times associated with the pandemic.”

Everything will be free, as the students’ sole aim is to help others.

“I wanted to do this to help my community by giving, not receiving,” sixth-grader Reid McKelvey said.

For more information email Riebe at

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