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Students ‘band together’ to help others in need

Kierra Jimmerson, Bethany Oelke, Mason Drake, and Hagan Miller (left to right) help pack thousands of Rainbow Loom Bracelets on Monday, April 21, 2014. The bracelets will be shipped to India as part of their Banding Together project.Buy Photo
Kierra Jimmerson, Bethany Oelke, Mason Drake, and Hagan Miller (left to right) help pack thousands of Rainbow Loom Bracelets on Monday, April 21, 2014. The bracelets will be shipped to India as part of their Banding Together project.

What first started out as a research project has turned into a world-wide project at Van Meter Community Schools.

The idea first started in January when Van Meter District Teacher Librarian Shannon McClintock-Miller asked her students to bring in supplies to make Rainbow Loom Bracelets. Then she got the idea to turn a fun, craft day into a research project using digital tools. “The kids always enjoy making Rainbow Loom Bracelets, so I figured I would take positive spin on it and make it educational for the students,” McClintock-Miller said. “The students really loved the project.”

After posting what her students were doing on social media, McClintock-Miller was contacted by Saira Rao and Carey Albertine, who own publishing company, In This Together Media, to work together on helping kids globally.

“I always try to find a global impact when I’m teaching students,” McClintock-Miller said. “Projects like these you can continue on for years.”

Over 1,000 bracelets were made by students at Van Meter, and close to 2,000 bracelets were donated to be mailed to Mangalore, India.

In addition to bracelets, the students included pen-pal notes and disposable cameras to those students.

“We wanted our kids to feel friendship more than anything and how they can (help) other children in the world,” McClintock-Miller said. “I remember Saira said to me ‘the kids in India have so much to offer our kids (Van Meter), not just our kids to them.’ I think that’s great because I want to encourage out kids to have that compassion and know they can make a difference.”

To learn more about the project, visit Banding Together on Twitter by searching for the hastag #bandingtogether, on Facebook, and Tumbler.

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