Robin Liu – Guest Contributor
Oct 20 2017

On the last weekend in September, the Young Men’s Service League of Coppell dug into a special project at the Rockbrook Elementary School. Rockbrook Elementary was transformed into an inspirational college campus theme that promotes reading and learning through the efforts of the young men and their mothers. Included in the makeover were 6 different college themed reading nooks that encourage scholastic progress in an engaging environment. In addition, the library was modernized and the teacher’s lounge was revamped; and lastly, an outside learning garden was built to be incorporated into the curriculum.

When asked for the teachers’ thoughts regarding the learning gardens, Principal Dawn Jordan said: “The teachers are very excited about the learning gardens. They are thinking about all the different ways they can incorporate it across the curriculum for writing, for social studies, for science, and they are brainstorming ways they can get kids excited about gardening.”

YMSL teamed up with the Loving Communities organization, which provides reading buddies to the students, to complete this project. Reading buddies are high school students who volunteer at the elementary school and work with kids who are struggling to read.

Rockbrook Elementary School was part of the YMSL Coppell chapter Ultimate Gift Event this year. Since 2010, YMSL has been organizing an all-chapter philanthropy event called the Ultimate Gift Event. The idea for the Ultimate Gift Event began as a spin-off from the novel of the same name written by Jim Stovall. The plot journeys the experiences of a young man who must complete 12 assignments before becoming eligible to receive a large sum of money from his grandfather's will. Through the completion of the 12 assignments, the young man develops a heart for serving others and his life is forever changed. YMSL challenges its members to find a way to give an "Ultimate Gift" back to their communities as a kick off to the giving season.

The Ultimate Gift Event from the Coppell chapter of the YMSL had over 172 volunteers with over 260 service hours. The project was completed on Monday October 1st, the same day as the rollout of the Reading Buddies Program.

Ultimate Gift committee members were Dawn Johnson, Laura Swaldi, Christy Ramirez, Jane Hunter, Andrea Hulcy and Angela Palmer.