A school assignment for the Raising Healthy Children course at Huntsville High School turned into a community initiative, just in time for the holidays this year.
The high school course, formerly known as Parenting, teaches students the effects that adults have on children, the different dynamics of families and children, the process of labour and delivery, and growth and development of children.
“This course is valuable for students even if they choose not to have children,” said teacher Pauline Webb. “Kids are like sponges and the effect we have on them in society is huge. You could be a coach, a volunteer, an aunt or uncle, and still have the ability to impact children around you.”
Guest speakers in the class have included a librarian who taught the students about reading to children and how it supports learning from a young age, a couple who went through IVF in order to conceive, and the lactation consultant from Huntsville Hospital.
One of the students’ biggest assignments was looking at the growth patterns of children ages one through eight.
Each group was assigned a two-year age bracket and looked at the physical development, social development, and emotional development of a child that age.
The students then presented to the class what they learned.
To complete the assignment, each student had to research a toy that would be perfect for the development of a child in their age bracket and justify why they chose it and what type of development it would support.
“The students did such a great job. They were incredibly thoughtful and intentional with their choices,” said Webb.
Among the toys chosen were a play doctor set, a wooden puzzle, educational flash cards, Lego, and a pogo stick. With the assignment complete, the 16 toys selected by the students were donated to the Huntsville Salvation Army and will be distributed to families in the community.
“This was a great way to support kids in our small community during the holidays,” said Webb. “Sometimes with school assignments it can feel theoretical but when the end result of the research project is an actual toy that will be put under someone’s tree it makes it real for them.”
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