Written by CAPA-JRC reporters Jessica Zhang and Angie Shen
Usually, elementary schoolers play with Legos or watch Youtube during Winter Break. However, this winter break, these students from Fallsmead Elementary School did not have the time to play around, they were busy with a great project. Jenny Yu (founder), Sophia Shen, Eliana Apelberg, Caroline Mconnel, Genevive Marcus, Kaya Phillips and others decided to dedicate their winter holidays to supporting the people in need. With the goal to make a difference, they worked together to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. “All the money goes to charity, and that’s what I really think is unique about the bookmark project,” Yu stated.
This group of elementary schoolers spent their winter break making an assortment of eye-catching bookmarks varying in design and color. Thanks to the help of Fallsmead elementary schools PTA, they were able to promote the project even more. The bookmark squad’s founder, Jenny Yu, hopes that their friendly, handmade bookmarks allow their project to resonate with donors and ease the patients’ stress of medical treatment. “We started this during the holiday season, and I thought that the kids in the hospital could use some joy and no one should be sad on the holidays,” Yu said. They believe that helping others and making everyone feel the real holiday spirit is all that matters with their bookmark project.
Looking ahead, they have bigger plans to grow the bookmark squad. “We are planning to have a spring session and we can donate to a different charity of someone's choice,” Shen said. The team is optimistic about these plans. One bookmark and smile at a time, they want to create positive changes in the world. It may be small, but small changes lead to bigger ones. These changes not only occur in the students’ communities but also in themselves. Besides refining their arts and crafts, they have learned a lot about team building and their roles in community service. “What I learned is that [even children can make a difference in the world,” Phillips said.
“It’s not [about] what you get, but it’s really about what you give, and when you give, the feeling is more intense than when you get something,” says Yu. The Bookmark Squad is trying to convey the message that giving is always better than receiving, especially during the holiday season. Whether it is volunteering or donating money, there are many ways to help the community. No matter what age or what circumstances one has, anyone can make a difference in the world.
This article was provided by Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club (CAPA JRC) with members who interviewed, audio recorded, wrote, translated, and video recorded. CAPA JRC has 25 Montgomery County middle to high school students. They have created a bilingual platform delivering news and serving the community.