A lesson in learning at Notre Dame Academy

Notre Dame Academy will donate 166 blankets!Notre Dame Academy will donate 166 blankets!

By Paula DeAngelis-Stein

Sometimes it’s hard to be heard when you are in fifth grade. Sometimes a class assignment can just float right over your head. And then it happens. The stars shine bright, the planets align and what you’re being taught actually strikes a chord which encourages you to think about ways to change the world!

That is exactly what happened with one of the fifth grade students at Notre Dame Academy after completing a lesson on Martin Luther King Jr. As an assignment, the fifth grade class was asked to make a list of things they could do to change the world. And the sentence read: “I would like to make blankets and take care of the animals.”

Sometimes it is hard to be heard when you are in fifth grade, but Jennifer Maslakowski, the principal at Notre Dame Academy, a Catholic elementary school in South Buffalo, has very good hearing! 

“When I walk down the halls of the school, I stop and I look at all the work that is displayed,” comments Maslakowski. “In our fifth grade corridor, I came across the assignment on Martin Luther King Jr. In reading them, I saw that students wanted to do something that was obtainable, and I knew I had to make it happen.

“I saw an opportunity, not only to do something for our community but to show our students that with a little work, they can create changes in the world. I quickly contacted Stephanie Behr who is a Girl Scout Troop leader at NDA. I know her troop recently completed making blankets.”   

Within a matter of a few days, Maslakowski secured the help of Girl Scout Troop 34213. Leaders in that troop donated $900 in fabric and precut the material so it was ready for the students to assemble.

“Our Girl Scout troop and their families all pitched in to help with the blankets,” commented Behr. “It was a great team effort! We have an amazing troop of girls who love doing great things in our community.”

“I was overwhelmed by our amazing parents at Notre Dame Academy and how quickly they stepped up and bought the material, precut the material, and pre-tied over 100 blankets all for our students to finish as a service project during Catholic Schools Week,” states Maslakowski. 

Notre Dame Academy will donate 166 blankets to our four-legged friends at the SPCA, Buffalo Animal Shelter and 10 Lives Club. 

In Proverbs 12:10 we read, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” And in South Buffalo, we learned a principal can invoke change by listening to the words of her students.

For more information on Notre Dame Academy, go to www.NotreDameBuffalo.org, check out their Facebook page or call 824-0726. Registration is open and forms are online at Registration — Notre Dame Academy (notredamebuffalo.org).