When six third through fifth grade students at Austin Elementary decided to do the service learning challenge entitled “Inside Impact” for Destination Imagination, they were excited to make an impact on their community.

Destination Imagination is a volunteer-led, educational organization that teaches 21st century skills and STEM principles to students through creative and collaborative problem solving challenges.  Each team has the opportunity to choose one of six challenges ranging from Improv to scientific challenges to service challenges.

The Service Superheroes of Austin Elementary knew they wanted to help others. The big question was now, “Who do we help?”  Each student was given the task to research a community need in which they could provide assistance. Madison Barton went to a local nursing home and found out that the people there would love lotion to be donated for its residents. Mallon Murray found out they could help at a local food bank unpacking groceries and carrying them to cars. Derek Crespo found out there was a private school in town that was in a different building this year that did not have a kitchen to provide students’ meals at breakfast and lunch.

After coming together and discussing various community needs, the team decided they would choose to help New Beginning’s Classical Academy because doing so would have the greatest impact on students, many of which are their same age.

The team first raised money by having two lemonade stands sponsored by Chick-Fil-A after school.  Next, they contacted the Kiwanis Club of Abilene who agreed to match the funds they raised through the lemonade stands. In all, the team raised $540 for New Beginning’s Classical Academy. They then took a trip to Sam’s to purchase meals the students could eat without having to cook them.

: When asked how the project made them feel, one student said, “It feels really good to do something for other people!”