Elementary students throughout the county learn how to use their talents in a variety of community service projects

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GREENFIELD — Kailyn Smith settled on a rainbow pattern, her fingers working deftly to connect each colored band to the next.

The J.B. Stephens second-grader chattered away as she put the final touches on the rubber bracelet, explaining that the finished product was headed to children at Riley Children’s Hospital who were sick.

“And they might be sad,” said Kailyn, 7.

Each year, schools throughout the county work to instill the value of community service in the county’s young people, launching projects that are both educational and fun. The importance of giving back is a lesson that will follow children lifelong if they are taught at an early age, educators say.

Last week at J.B. Stephens, the student body celebrated Friendship Days, a program aimed at teaching children about healthy relationships that they coupled with a community service project.

Students made friendship bracelets to support LovingBri and Message of Hope, two charity organizations that provide gifts to children with chronic illnesses.

Amber Skene, an instructional assistant, brought the idea to school administrators after reading about the project on Facebook.

“I wanted to show the kids they could give back without it being in some form of money,” she said. “They could use their talents to make another child smile.”

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