Man presenting a plaque to a lady in fron to hundreds of kids in elementary school gym.Jody Richards Elementary (JRES) serves 750 students in preschool-6th grade. Their school-wide mission is to begin with the end in mind to become college, career, and citizenship ready. Besides a strong foundation in academics, they want to help our students learn to serve others. They are a school that follows the leadership model of the Leader in Me initiative. As a leadership school, we firmly believe in teaching our students to serve with no other reward than the satisfaction of helping others, says JRES Principal Stephanie Martin. The main entrance to our school has the following message for our students ~ Enter to learn, depart to serve.

This most recent school year, we were honored to work with the Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) and the local chapter of its Lions Club to serve our community, Martin said. In partnership with the Lions Club, JRES held an eyeglass drive, as well as a clothing drive for Ms. Annie's clothing bank in Bowling Green. We are very blessed with strong family support at JRES that helps make these kinds of service learning projects a success.

Our students and families continued to benefit from the partnership with SKYCTC and Lions Club at our traditional 6th grade family potluck on the last day of school. This is a special celebration after the 6th Grade Promotion Ceremony each year. Phillip Stagner, SKYCTC Assistant Professor, was gracious enough to get all the hot dogs, buns and condiments donated, which was a big savings for our PTO. Photo op people standing in front of eye glass doantion table

Mr. Stagner, along with one of his students, grilled and wrapped approximately 400 hot dogs! This was a huge help to the PTO and JRES staff members organizing the potluck.

We are excited about our future partnership with the college and service organization, as we are working with them to start a kids' club that would be an extension of the Lions Club this fall. We believe service learning opportunities, such as this, maximize our efforts to prepare our future leaders.