Avery Wilson fills bird feeders made by Gillespie Park Elementary students.
High school students donate hours to
mentor and teach at Gillespie Park
"Greensboro, N.C. – An enthusiastic “Yes!” rises from a group of elementary school students when asked “Do birds eat crickets?” inside Gillespie Park Elementary’s media center. The elementary students are learning about nature and reading from Grimsley High School students, who are volunteering their time to serve as mentors and teachers to the younger students.
Today, Avery Wilson is teaching the students how to make bird feeders, along with lessons about birds and how they interact with nature. After learning from Avery, the students move onto another room with another Grimsley student, Morgan Mills, who is tying their reading lesson to their nature lesson.
Morgan Mills and other Grimsley High volunteers discussin
the book they just read with elementary students.
“These students really have a passion for this,” says Grimsley High English teacher Kathleen Saunders. “Not just Avery and Morgan, but all the volunteers are constantly asking me ‘what can I do,’ ‘what do you need,’ ‘how can I help?”
The bird feeder lesson is part of Wilson’s Girl Scout Gold Award project which requires careful planning, fundraising and at least 80 hours of service.
“She really wanted to find a project she was excited about,” explains Lori Wilson, Avery’s mom and troop leader. “Our family has always been excited about being outdoors and she was really moved to action during her IB environmental science course at Grimsley. She just decided she really wanted to teach younger students about nature and how they can help protect the world around them.”
Wilson secured donations from Lowe’s Hardware, Chick-fil-A and other local businesses to help fund the project and supplies to make the bird feeders, and the impact can be seen outside of the school.
Bird feeders made by the students.
“A mom came in and said, ‘All my kids will talk about is birds!’” said Saunders.
Wilson tied her project in with the reading camp being hosted by Service Learning Ambassadors, led by Mills, from Grimsley. It’s an extension of their service learning “Give Five, Read Five,” project. During the previous school year, Grimsley High students collected and donated more than 1700 books for Gillespie Elementary students to take home over the summer.
This summer, they’ve collected even more books to send home with the summer camp students.
“I have so many students who want to do more,” says Saunders. “Next year, we’re going to work on giving the high school students even more responsibility to help lead drives at every one of Grimsley’s feeder schools.”"
- A Press Release