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BECS Students to Share Happiness on National Day of Volunteering

The Belton Early Childhood School, home to the district’s pre-kindergarten students, is opening a Happiness Hotline on April 20 to celebrate the National Day of Volunteering. 

Community members can call (254) 677-9200 on Wednesday to hear encouraging recorded messages from four- and five-year-olds. 

“We’re excited for this to be a big service project for our kids,” said Courtney Brewer, assistant principal. “Not only are they benefitting because they’re putting all their learning together to do this, but it’s also a great connection to the community because it’s helping out other people.”

Multiple messages are available — there are options for those feeling under the weather, those feeling frustrated, sad, or needing a break, and those who need a little encouragement. There’s also an option to hear children laughing and giggling. 

Brewer said the project is also a way for students to practice the district’s Journey of a Graduate competencies. These desired traits in Belton ISD graduates include empathy, collaboration, perseverance and communication.

“Our students can say those big words and tell you what they mean,” she said. “They’re excited to contribute in this tangible way to make our community a little happier.”

The Happiness Hotline is part of a larger Belton ISD effort to give back to the community that is such an integral part of the school district. In addition to BECS, seven other schools will also kick off service-learning projects on Wednesday, such as collecting donations for local ministries, writing gratitude letters to families and community members and beautifying their school neighborhood.

Teachers and students were asked to brainstorm specific ways their campuses could give back to the community through service-learning, which goes deeper than volunteering.

“Service-learning allows students to think about real-world problems in our community and creates educational opportunities that equip them to address those needs,” said Chris Lemley, coordinator of secondary social studies. “It’s an experience they will carry with them into adulthood and fuels them to be engaged, active citizens in their communities.”

The community can see Belton ISD’s schools in action on Wednesday by searching the social hashtag #BISDGivesBack. Lemley is excited about visiting several schools on Wednesday as projects get underway.

“The challenges communities face can seem daunting, but the Happiness Hotline is proof that — with outstanding teachers leading the way — even our youngest students can make a difference,” he said.

April 19, 2022