Giving Away Toys & Getting Much More in Return

By: Haiyen Truong, Chicago Bulls College Prep History Teacher

Across the Noble Network of Charter Schools, every senior is required to complete 40 hours of community service before graduating. Students fulfill this requirement and give back to the greater Chicago community in a variety of ways, embodying our commitments to scholarship, discipline and honor. On a chilly Sunday in December, three teachers and I from Noble’s Chicago Bulls College Prep, UIC College Prep and Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy chaperoned 50 students who gave up a coveted Sunday in order to make a difference during the holiday season. These students volunteered at a Holiday Toy Giveaway with 10th District State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin and her husband, Alderman Jason Ervin (28th)

In collaboration with staff and other volunteers from the offices of Rep Conyears-Ervin and Alderman Ervin, the students decorated the Golden Dome for the season and assembled gift bags for boys and girls of various ages. Students also assisted the elected officials in checking people in and serving holiday refreshments. Bulls freshman Alyssa Hernandez explained that “this organization helps by giving gifts to children during the holiday season. The children come and get food and receive gifts, [which] helps you really feel the holiday season and holiday spirit.”

Students spent several hours meeting families and children from nearby neighborhoods who came to pick up toys. Of the experience, freshman Kalani Soto said “I learned that helping others is a lot of work but makes you feel really good about yourself in the end.”

This wonderful event, in partnership with our local elected officials and their warm and welcoming staff, illustrates the commitment that all Noble schools have to developing students into community-minded young adults who think give of themselves for the benefit of others.