COPPERAS COVE — Children as young as 4 years old got some hands-on experience helping the homeless on Monday.
Students from Clement/Parsons Elementary School’s Kids Care Club served seven different homemade soups, bread and cupcakes to residents of the Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter in Copperas Cove. About 25 students and their parents participated in the community service project.
“I’m here to help the needy and the homeless people who don’t have a lot of things,” said fourth-grader Luis Cornejo. “It’s the nice thing to do and God tells us this is a good thing.”
Ann Aker teaches prekindergarten at Clements/Parsons Elementary School, where she organizes multiple community service projects for her students and their families. She has about 100 students in Kids Care Club, which she started in September.
“I was researching places that we could really do some good here in Cove. Cove House was one of the ones that I contacted and they were the first one to call me back,” Aker said. “We just wanted to ... touch people’s hearts through their stomachs and teach the kids the importance of helping others.”
Marcus Key is a Cove House resident and was the first in line to get a bowl of soup the students made in their classrooms.
“I feel like I am not the one that should be served out here,” Key said. “I have already received so much (assistance).”
Aker won Copperas Cove VFW Teacher of the Year because of the Kids Care Club, and the program was also recently awarded a grant from the Copperas Cove Education Foundation to continue its community service efforts. The club wraps up a Toys for Tots drive for the Marine Reserves on Monday.
Prekindergarten teacher Jacey Beeson has been helping Aker with the Kids Care Club since its inception.
“We are excited to be doing all that we can in the community. The kids have been excited about this event since before Thanksgiving,” Beeson said. “It’s nice that they understand at such a young age what we are doing to help others.”