Hawkins preschoolers learning early to serve needs of community

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

For 15 years, students at Hawkins Preschool have donated to the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society.

“This is their service project,” teacher Charlene Gravens said.

Gravens said the classes had been collecting donated items since late February. Some of the items given to the organization from the students included paper towels, cat liter, cat food, dog food, dog treats, laundry soap and bleach.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Two 3-year-old classes from the preschool, one that meets three days a week and one that meets five days a week, participated in the project.

“We want to instill in the students it’s good to give back to the community,” Gravens said.

Through the project the students learn how to care for a pet with water, food, shelter and exercise, and they learn the value of helping people in the community through collecting donations. A veterinarian visited the classes prior to the field trip to help teach these lessons.

Gravens said when she started teaching the director of the preschool encouraged the classes to participate in a service project of their choosing. Since her sons had volunteered at the humane society throughout their school days, Gravens chose to make the organization her class’s project.

“We do other service projects like Operation Shoebox at Christmas, but I’ve always kept this one going on because it’s just so good that they can come down and actually see the little animals that they’re helping,” Gravens said.

The two classes spent about an hour at the humane society with their teachers and parents.

The 14 students were able to pet dogs and cats and even saw a few chickens and horses outside.

“My dream has always been they adopt,” Gravens said.

“We’ve never gotten somebody to actually adopt one during the field trip.”

Gravens said she got her Beagle from the humane society.

This is her favorite field trip of the year, saying it even trumps the pumpkin patch. The group stopped at McDonalds first Tuesday to let the students play and eat lunch before the donation.

“You see how excited the kids are,” Gravens said. ‘They just love it.”