Merriwether Elementary School’s Project UNIFY and the MES student council have teamed up for a successful service learning project. Project UNIFY strategies focus on creating and sustaining a positive school climate that values and manifests appropriate and effective engagement leading to inclusion, acceptance, respect, and human dignity. Some of these strategies are through youth leadership, school-community collaboration, and service learning opportunities. Project UNIFY leader, Julie Chapman, teamed up with the MES student council to host a drive for the Ronald McDonald House. Student council made signs and advertised for the drive. They also collected the donations and brought them to Mrs. Chapman’s room; while there, student council spent interacting with her students. Mrs. Chapman states, “This project was a great opportunity for my students to connect with general education students. I loved watching them spend time with one another. I even saw bonds being made.” Mrs. Abbott’s third grade class was the winner of the drive and will get a pizza party with Mrs. Chapman’s class. Incorporating respect and acceptance at MES is another way that they are creating world-class citizens who are developing the thinking, personal, and relational skills needed for continued success in a changing society.

Pictured are Riley Lee, TJ Mindingall, Eli Hadden, Calli Foss, Amaleya Dempsey, Haven Carpenter, Emily Geddes, Anniston Hall, Maxine Hyer, Hayden James, Riley Howell, Madison Coleman, and Ethan Wixson