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Young leaders at West Madison help Downtown Rescue Mission

In the days leading to Christmas, most children are focused on adding items to their gift lists. A boys’ group at West Madison Elementary School set aside their selfish wants to help people in dire need.

Boys in Student Leadership Training at West Madison collected gifts for boys at the Downtown Rescue Mission. (Photo by Wendy Tibbs)

The Student Leadership Training group at West Madison donated toys to the Downtown Rescue Mission for their Christmas celebration. This group includes boys in grades 4-6.

This effort was the leadership team’s community service project for the fall semester, enrichment specialist Wendy Tibbs said.

“This year, the boys wanted to help the Downtown Rescue Mission,” assistant principal Kathy Miller said. “When they found out that there were 18 children living at the mission, they decided they wanted to make it a wonderful Christmas for these boys and girls.”

Miller called the rescue mission. “They told us they rarely get gifts for boys between the ages of 8 to 11 years old. Since our boys are in this age group, this project was a perfect fit,” Miller said.

The West Madison boys went with their parents and selected toys they would want for Christmas. “Last week, we delivered several bags of toys and cash donations to the Downtown Rescue Mission,” Miller said.

“Our students have very giving spirits and their parents supported us with their generosity. We truly see future leaders in every one of our boys,” she said.

Three years ago, West Madison staff founded the Student Leadership Training group. “We have this training open to all fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade boys at our school,” Miller said. The training group meets after school on two days each month for mentoring and skills training. “We also try to do service projects each semester.”

The Student Leadership Training group held its Christmas party after school on Dec. 18. “The boys enjoyed goodies that their parents sent in and decorated gingerbread houses to put on display for the younger students in the school,” Miller said.

Dr. Daphne Jah is principal at West Madison.

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