Sharon Slagle, a local educator and Nurturing Neighbors organizer, speaks to Rock Creek students after they created supportive cards for those needing the organization’s services. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

Students at Rock Creek Elementary recently learned what it means to give back to their community.

“It’s been exciting watching the children learn about changemakers during the most recent unit,” Rock Creek Elementary second grade teacher Kristen Allen told The Erwin Record. “The students learned about Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Katie Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., and many other change makers.”

Allen’s second-grade students chose to hand make cards to donate to Nurturing Neighbors. According to Mrs. Allen, the students decided to make the cards the previous week after the class read the story “Follow The Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles.”

Nurturing Neighbors is made up of organizers Sarah Shults, Jamie Rice, Sharon Slagle and Donna Seagroves. The program helps link volunteers to help people suffering from severe illnesses and their caregivers by utilizing the volunteers’ specific skill sets. The organization currently has more than 150 volunteers and are currently looking for citizens who could use the organization’s assistance.

At the Nurturing Neighbors meeting on Jan. 31, Shults stressed the importance of handmade items such as cards to someone who is sick. Allen saw an opportunity to blend her lesson with Nurturing Neighbors cause. Allen encouraged her students to be a change maker by creating cards for Nurturing Neighbors.

“Their goal was 75 cards, but they have made more than that,” Allen said.

To make the cards personal, the students were allowed the freedom to design the cards in their own way.

“The children were able to create the cards the way they wanted since it was their volunteer work,” Allen said.

Shults and Slagle visited Rock Creek Elementary Feb. 12 to explain to the students how Nurturing Neighbors works and to accept the students’ gifts.

If you or someone you know could use the services of Nurturing Neighbors, please contact nurturingneighborsofuc@gmail.com or 742-7508. Updates are also posted on the organization’s Facebook page.