Vilonia Middle School’s sixth-grade Service Learning Through Enrichment (SLE) classes have been taking on several projects to improve the community. During this weekly class, students learn by doing projects to help others.

The first project of the year has been taking on the school’s recycling program. Angie Howard, from the Conway Recycling Center, recently spoke with the students about recycling. The students learned the importance of recycling and what items are recyclable. 

The classes then took a field trip to the Recycling Center in Conway to view the recycling process. Geared with all they learned, the students started collecting recyclables at school. Each week, they collect paper goods from all the classrooms to take for recycling.  

After Christmas, the students will be collecting toner cartridges and cell phones for recycling.

Another project has been conducting Caps for Critters. This project was a fundraiser for the Conway Animal Welfare Unit. 

For a donation of a dollar or two old towels, students were allowed to wear a hat to school. The SLE students collected donations each morning before school. With the help of their classmates, the students raised $250 and more than 100 towels. 

The students delivered the donations to the Animal Welfare Unit while visiting the Recycling Center.

The classes also hosted a canned food drive to collect food for local families in need at Thanksgiving. The students collected, counted, and packed the food for delivery. The students were able to collect more than 1,000 nonperishable food items for these families.

With the help of local master gardner Mary Wells, students in the SLE classes have been harvesting seeds from the school’s flower garden. They bagged the seeds and sold them at parent-teacher conferences and at the recent chili cook-off. 

With the seed sales, students raised $77. They used this money to purchase Christmas gifts for less fortunate kids.

The most recent project has been making Christmas treats for the Heritage Living Center. The students created cards and crafts for the residents of the home. 

These goodies were delivered in the hopes of spreading holiday cheer.

In the future, the classes are planning on doing more projects for the community.