MECC Students Connect Kindness

MECC Students Connect Kindness to Choosing Local: Police Partnership Guides Walking Field Trip to Two Cities
Posted on 04/30/2019

MECC Students Connect Kindness to Choosing Local: Police Partnership Guides Walking Field Trip to Two CitiesLast week, some of Mason’s youngest learners got a great lesson in entrepreneurship and empathy - all while walking to a local neighborhood restaurant.

First graders in Monica Johnston, Stacie Price and Pam Wainscott’s classes have been learning about their local community, and identifying their personal strengths and the activities that bring them joy as they follow their dreams.  Through these discussions, the classes began to discuss the importance of shopping locally and supporting their community. The Mason Early Childhood Center students began to wonder about the businesses in Mason, and how they started.   JJ Lomeli-Studendorff noted “I want to learn more about the other local businesses in Mason so my family can go there.”

Johnston reached out to Zach Greaves and Sean Spurlock, the owners of Two Cities Pizza, to ask if they would be willing to talk to the students about being entrepreneurs, following their dreams, and supporting the local community.   Greaves and Spurlock quickly agreed and invited the classes to meet them at Two Cities, where they would share how they got their start.

In order to accomplish this, the teachers needed to find a way to get the students to Two Cities, which is 1.8 miles- walking distance from MECC.   They collaborated with Mason Police Officer Jamie VanWagner to create a safe plan for the walk.    Officer VanWagner met with the students the day prior to the trip to talk about safety when walking in the community.  Several students talked about how important police officers are to our community, and how the trip would not be possible without their help. Office VanWagner also enlisted the support of Officer Aaron Shaffer to ride alongside the classes as they traveled to Two Cities.

Anna Roberts shared, “This was the best day of my life because we walked and usually I have to ride in a car!”  

During the event,  Greaves and Spurlock spoke to the students about the importance of following their dreams, relying on their friends, and persevering - even when things are difficult.   The students had the chance to ask these two young entrepreneurs advice and there were some fun questions too. “We learned that Sean and Zach are long time friends, that they’ve tried to make a breakfast pizza, and that there is a lot of hard work that goes into making a great pizza,” said Charley Smallwood.

After the trip, the students were excited to share their dreams.   Johnston stated, “this was a moment in which the students could truly see the importance of growing together as a community and following their dreams. This is a day that the students will always remember.  Learning does not always have to take place within the four walls of a classroom.”

The trip to Two Cities was an extension of the learning that’s been happening in Johnston, Price and Wainscott’s classes.   The Mason Early Childhood Center students have focused on acts of kindness throughout the 2018-2019 school year, from leaving positive notes on cars in the parking lot to delivering treats and small surprises for school staff.

Price said, “Doing intentional acts of kindness increases creative thinking, problem solving,  lifelong learning and self satisfaction. Kindness is choosing local!”

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