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Pre/JK students funnel passion into “Take a Hike’ project

| Maumee ValleyMaumee Valley photo | Lower School

PreKindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students created hiking sticks for their passion project this year.

In the winter, as the Coyote class experienced a big transition, Mrs. W., our building substitute, joined the PreK/JK team for several weeks. She brought so much joy and life to our world! Mrs. W. suffers from chronic pain in her back, so a lot of walking, especially on rough terrains, is hard on her. Nevertheless, she persisted and joined us on many chilly Forest School adventures. One day, the kids crossed a big fallen tree over the creek to get to the bamboo patch at the back of the forest. Mrs. W. was right there on the log, scooting across with them and cheering them on.

To say thank you for all that Mrs. W. has done for us this year, the children and teachers worked together to make her a special hiking stick. Mrs. Marker used a wood burner to engrave Mrs. W’s name onto it, and cut it down to just the right height for her. Mrs. W cherishes her hiking stick, and uses it each time she joins us in the forest.

This act of gratitude and love was what inspired The Hiking Stick Project!

Each child took home a hiking stick to give to someone. This could be a neighbor, grandparent, or mail carrier – anyone that they choose! That person’s challenge will be to take a walk or hike with the stick, and then pass it on to someone else to do the same. Each person who has a turn with the stick is encouraged to take a picture with it and add it to the project’s photo album.

Through the photo album, we will be able to see where the sticks end up and all the people they will reach. We hope that the project will inspire people in our community to get outside in nature, while showing our students how kindness and gratitude can spread from one person to another.