spring mills students

Spring Mills students are finishing up a special project this week, and hoping their efforts bring warmth and a small bit of comfort to families in Ukraine. 

It all began when Elizabeth Begerska, a Spring Mills fifth grader, started showing concern and asking questions in school as Ukraine came under Russian attack Feb. 20. 

Elizabeth’s parents came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2003, but the family has returned home to visit beloved family members many times in the years since. Elizabeth spent many summers there with grandparents. 

So when news of the war came, Elizabeth wanted to do something for the country she loves.  After some discussions in the classroom with fifth grade teachers Jim Izzo and Keely Aman, Elizabeth and her fellow fifth graders decided on a blanket drive. 

They wanted to do something meaningful, something that would make a difference,” said Izzo, noting a curriculum-driven thank you letter was also incorporated into the project. “This was very meant to be a community service project for everyone involved.” 

Fifth graders decided on a blanket drive and put the word out to other students, staff, parents and community members, dubbing the project “Fifth Grade Goes Global.” By Friday, more than 100 blankets were donated. Elizabeth’s family will deliver them to an organization that will ship to Ukraine. 

“We encourage good citizenship and community service in fifth grade,”  teacher Keely Aman added. “Students are becoming more aware of the world we live in, and as educators we intend to guide their desires toward global awareness.” 

Great job, Spring Mills Sharks!