First Grade: Outreach

First grade teachers wanted a service project that would tie health and the chidren’s visit to the hospital together. When asked, our local hospital staff identified a need for “hospital dolls” which help children cope with the hospital experience. A local church group had made them for the emergency room but they had stopped making them. Emergency room nurses found them to be of great value.

When a service area becomes a year long communication with the hospital the relationship becomes significant. Hospital staff know they can let the students know when their supplies are running low. Children understand their role and value in the community. If we embed and sustain a topic area at each grade level, everyone in the community comes to know where information is available. In this case, the hospital staff know that first graders are the conduit to the community checklist. As staff generate ideas that would be helpful in the hospital setting, they can let the class know and the students can update the community checklist with this request. Community members no longer wonder what they can do, but rather can search by topic to see what they might be able to contribute based on personal interest and skill.

Hospital Dolls

Hospital dolls help young children throughout their hospital experience in many ways. This first grade service learning project drew upon a model from Kiwanis of Burnside, Australia and information gathered from the websites of hospitals using these dolls in the US.

The above first grade project model is ready-to-go for first grade teachers to incorporate. Conversation with your local hospital will either confirm this need or suggest another. As with all sample projects a different version could be designed by any first grade teacher. The unifying aspect would be most strong as a project for the local hospital, however any caring outreach project could be used since first grade will be the collection point for community projects undertaken in this topic area. All community projects that fall under the topic of Caring Outreach would be shared with first graders who update this community checklist topic.

Beyond First Grade

In the models below the range of possibilities is quite wide, touching upon many needs and solutions. Some of the models are simple; others are complex. Some are urban; others are not, although perhaps worthy of consideration in our communities. The mix is educational for all of us, and most importantly, for our youth as they learn about their world.

Outreach Topic Areas:


Temporary Daycare Support

Pre-School Rural: Rosie Readiness Bus

Intergenerational Learning Center
Operation Breakthrough
The Basics of Safe Routes to School

Read n Roll

Eureka2 Playground

Playspace For All Children

Knitting a Community Together

Knit Cafe

Warm Up America

Project Linus
City to Saddle
Station Soccer
DC Scores
Heart of the City Music Program
Scraper Bikes
Teen Literacy: Get Lit
Experience Aviation
Becoming A Man
Reconnect Brooklyn
Mural Arts
Artists for Humanity
Midnight Basketball
Urban Riding Club
Summer Night Lights
Peace Rocks
Block Wisdom
Apex Youth Center
We Dine Together
Nuns and Nones
City Faces
Council for Unity
100 Suits
Young Mothers
High Risk Young Men
Streetworker Outreach
Boston 10Point Coalition
Man Up!
Opioid Crisis Recovery


Emma’s Torch


Soldier’s’ ‘Angels

Operation Paperback

Songwriting With Soldiers

Support from Fellow Warriors

Camp Patriot
The Soldiers Coach
Project Healing Waters
Teacher Resource


Raising Men Lawn Care Service
Bridges Together
Heyman Interages Center
Elder Concierge Service
Independent Transportation Network America

Village to Village Network

Retirement or Nursing Home as Dorm
Adopt A Native Elder
Second Wind


Requests from Hospitals
Cards for Hospitalized Kids
Emily’s Smile Boxes
Songs of Love
Trauma Unit Projects
Children’s Artwork for Emergency Room
Worry Dolls
Hats for Cancer Patients
Newborns in Need
T-Shirts for Ventilator Patients

Nursing Homes

Memory Haven App
Activity Aprons
Reading to Residents


Gideon’s Promise
Open City Advocates
Victim Offender Dialogue
Girl Scouts Behind Bars
Hooks and Needles
Knitting Behind Bars
Alabama Prison Arts and Education Program
Delancey Street
Jails to Jobs
Cafe Momentum
Old Skool Cafe
Confections with Conviction
Benevolence Farm
Restorative Justice
Prisoner Visitation
Exercises in Empathy Article: Raising $30,000
PREP Partnership for Re-Entry
The Other Side Academy
Rubicon Bakery

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