Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Gage Project... Service Learning and Sharing Kindness!





I made a video as an introduction to The GAGE Project...
a little over 2 mins long but grab some tissue!

At the beginning of March, Kelly and I presented our vision for a new service learning project to our school. Please read below about the little boy that inspired our project. Together with our students, Our Smart Community collected over 320 stuffed animals (new with tags) for our local children’s hospital. Each animal will be given to a child with a long term or chronic illness in order to “Give Another Great Encouragement”. We never dreamed we would collect so many animals but we are absolutely thrilled to count, sort and tag every single one with a special message, including a handmade card from a student in our classes. Who said learning and caring could not go hand and hand. Our students have had so much ownership in this project and the entire experience has blessed us as well as the Dixon Family (Gage’s Family). Our district has also featured Gage and our project as part of a presentation for BA TV. We are so thrilled with how this has turned out and look forward to delivering the animals to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa at the beginning of April.


A family from TEXAS who read about The GAGE Project stopped by our school to deliver animals on their Spring Break! That is what Give Another Great Encouragement is all about!

Cole brought the first donation!

LOOK AT THIS! We will present these tomorrow at our Monday Morning Jamboree!

Here is a little information about Gage:

Before Gage was born, it was known that he would have difficulties with bladder function. At three, he began having issues with his intestines also. Basically, Gage has no movement in his stomach, small intestines, colon or bladder. When no answers were found, he began traveling to Columbus where specialists continue to treat him for all of these issues. Gage has endured 15 surgeries in the last 2 ½ years resulting in a feeding tube, an ileostomy and a Broviacwhich is how he receives all of his nutrition. Recently, he began having cardiac issues, decaying bones and kidney stones. In March, Gage will travel to Columbus to determine a plan to deal with the new issues in addition to the issues already known. A small intestine transplant is most likely in the future but the family hopes to prolong that as long as possible. By looking at Gage you would never know what he goes through daily. He always has a smile and it is in this spirit of Gage that we hope to GIVE ANOTHERGREAT ENCOURAGEMENT!

Who is Gage and Why did we choose to name this service learning project after him?

Mrs. Parrott and Mrs. Weyher taught Gage in Our Smart Community before his first extended trip to Columbus and his numerous surgeries. He is a Highland Park student even though he is unable to attend school right now because of his medical conditions. “The GAGE Project” is named after him because of his amazing spirit of joy in spite of all he goes through medically. We want to give back to Saint Francis because of all of the good work they do for Gage and children like him.