Lakeside Middle School’s Advanced Art and Leadership classes are making a difference by identifying and meeting needs in their community. Developing compassion and generosity is a crucial part of this learning and in building future leaders and community contributors. Working to help meet these needs, almost 50 middle school students partnered with Generation Alive, a Spokane based non-profit organization that empowers youth to respond to community needs compassionately.
Through Generation Alive’s Defend Free program, Lakeside Middle School students provided support to trafficking and sexual assault victims by filling up to 100 backpacks with basic products and blankets. On Monday, June 4, Darrien Duty and Jess Hart of Generation Alive facilitated this event, along with Mrs. Jeana Simpson and Mrs. Linda St. Clair, Leadership and Advanced Art teachers.
Three stations were set-up: duffle bag packing, writing notes of encouragement for the bags, and a facilitated discussion on present day forms of slavery. "This is cool," shared one sixth grader. "Doing the right thing makes you feel good." A seventh grader agreed, "I like it alot. It helps me feel empowered when I help people in my community."
Darrien and Jess will deliver the duffle bags with the notes to HRC and Lutheran Community Services, who will in turn give them to victims. Darrien explained to the students how, after escaping their dangerous situations, victims have only "the clothes on their backs." These duffle bags are the first things that they will get that are their own as they head into transitional housing. Through Defend Free, our middle school students are learning to make a difference.