SS.Simon and Jude IMG_1092The sixth grade students of SS. Simon and Jude School in West Chester recently went on a class field trip with a twist — helping others and living their Christian faith.

Their first stop was Cradles to Crayons located in Conshohocken, and their second activity was making new friends with residents of Solana Retirement Village in West Chester.

At Cradles to Crayons the students brought their own donations into the warehouse, and then after a brief orientation, they broke into three groups to clean donated shoes and sneakers, create colorful cards with encouraging messages, and clean and organize donated toys.

“Throughout the morning the students were industrious, cheerful, courteous and very well-behaved,” said sixth grade teacher Bernadette Langdon. “Many of the students asked if they could return with their families another day to help, and wondered if they could bring more donations when they heard the warehouse was currently low on long pants for needy children their age. You could see their hearts were touched and that they wanted to help the children that had so much less than they do.”

In the afternoon, the students returned to school where residents from Solana Retirement Village came for a visit. The students worked in small groups with their guests, chatting about their favorite activities and creating Valentine decorations. The children have since written letters to their new senior friends beginning an inter-generational pen-pal program.