Waukee Elementary Students “Sharpen the Saw”

Waukee Elementary students traded out their typical paper and pencils for paint brushes, musical instruments and puzzles to celebrate Sharpen the Saw Day on April 27. Community members from the metro area were invited to share their passions and professions with students.

Sharpen the Saw is one of the seven Leader In Me habits that Waukee Elementary teaches as a Leader In Me school. Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have.

The purpose of this day is to connect students with their community and gain a better understanding and appreciation for the habit through interactive sessions. Students had the opportunity to learn how leaders balance the daily demands of life through mind, body or creative talents.

This habit encourages students to take healthy breaks so they can be fresh and continue to practice the other six habits.

“We really need time to take a break and not always be working. If we don’t we will be to exhausted and won’t be able to pay attention,” fifth grade student Cade Madden said.

Students spent the day with rotating through eight sessions lead by local organizations or volunteers that focused on renewing the mind, body, spirit or heart. Performers from The Des Moines Playhouses shared scripts with students, Vision Soccer Academy taught students some of the fundamentals of soccer and a librarian from Waukee Public Library brought stories to life through imagination, interactive play and visualization

“We need breaks to balance our body, make sure our heart is healthy and make time for other important activities,” fifth grade student Finley Snavely said.

This year, Waukee Elementary added a new volunteer station for their students. Meals for the Heartland was set up in the cafeteria and all grades spent time packaging meals.

“I really liked helping with Meals for the Heartland. It wasn’t something that I’ve ever experienced before, and I felt really good afterwards,” Snavely said.

Meals for the Heartland is a local non-profit organization that packages meals for underprivileged families all across the world. Students were able to learn about the importance of giving back to others and collaborating while they put together the meal packages.

Waukee Elementary students reached their goal, packaging a little over 20,000 meals to help fight hunger.