Irving students give back to Beattie Elementary

You sometimes hear about people wanting to give back to their old schools. They’re not usually in sixth grade, though.

Irving Middle School sixth-graders Eddie Barnett and Reid Styskal have chosen to volunteer at Beattie Elementary School, helping out once a week with the MakerSpace Club that meets after school.

“It’s our old school so it’s nice to come back and help,” Barnett said.

“Plus it’s really fun,” Styskal added, “and I just like helping the kids.”

They first volunteered at Beattie in the fall as part of Irving Community Outreach, an annual event organized by the Irving Parent Teacher Student Organization that involves students volunteering their time and effort in the community. The students ask for donations from family and other community members in conjunction with their activities.

Emily Faubel leads the MakerSpace club at Beattie. Faubel, a paraeducator at Roper Elementary School, was looking for volunteers to help with the club and reached out to Irving. Barnett and Styskal were among the students who volunteered for what initially was a three-week commitment during the community outreach fundraiser.

But the boys had so much fun, they asked if they could keep coming.

“I had other volunteers lined up for the rest of the year so I figured if they came, great, if they changed their minds I was covered,” Faubel said. “Fast forward to the end of the year and the boys have attended every day except one.”

On a recent Wednesday, Barnett and Styskal arrived at Beattie at 3:15 to help with the club. They jumped right in, asking students if they needed any help with the day’s activity. They patiently answered questions and offered advice.

“They’re very creative so they extend my plans past what I envisioned,” Faubel said. “They ask the kids great questions, and assist but don’t do the work for them.”

“I love building stuff anyway,” Barnett said, “and the kids really like having us around.”

Correction, Fauble said, the kids love having them around.

“It is a magical moment to observe.”

Published: April 19, 2018, Updated: April 23, 2018