July 23, 2021
FC Leadership Academy supports foster care program
An important component of Upper St. Clair’s Leadership Academies is service learning. At Fort Couch Middle School, the focus was on one of the region’s most vulnerable population – children ages 1 to 4 who are transitioning into foster care.
Forty-seven rising seventh and eighth graders purchased and assembled 100 transition bags for the Foster Love Project throughout the week-long Leadership Academy from July 19-23. Each bag was carefully filled with supplies to comfort young children during a scary and uncertain time.
According to Foster Love Project’s website, “There are currently more than 14,000 kids in foster care in Pennsylvania. Every day children are transitioned into new homes with a few items thrown in a trash bag. Our transition bags are given to every foster agency we can connect with who will share our vision in ensuring that kids are able to take a bag of new belongings with them when they change homes.”
Fort Couch Leadership Academy students purchased and filled string bags with sunglasses rubber ducks, glow sticks, inspirational art and small toys.
The Leadership Academy facilitators – Mr. Andrew Bowers, Ms. Eliza Luxbacher, Mr. Thomas Hunsberger, and Mr. Michael DaVia – selected the Foster Love Project to highlight service opportunities that focus on children and families in a time that has created unseen hardships for so many in the community.
“The Foster Love Project was a perfect fit for our middle school leaders because of their mission to make the transition to foster care as positive and seamless as possible,” Mr. DaVia said. “We hope that students are able to understand that they can have a meaningful impact on their smaller and larger communities, even with the smallest of actions.”
The Fort Couch students applied the Leadership Academy skills of teamwork and productivity to work collectively in the creation of the donation bags and artwork.
“This project is important to apply the learned skills of the Leadership Academy and bring the application of service-learning to our students and the Upper St. Clair community,” Mr. DaVia said. “In a uniquely challenging year for so many, the connection to service learning is even more impactful.”