Buckeye Woods Elementary students and parents were offered several different ways last week to make a difference.

Buckeye Woods Elementary students and parents were offered several different ways last week to make a difference.

The Buckeye Woods PTA sponsored the school's participation in Make a Difference Day on Oct. 27, a national effort to encourage individuals and groups around the country to conduct community service projects.

"As a PTA, we're very blessed with resources and money coming in, so we decided we wanted to do something to give back to the community," said Shelby Wolfe, PTA vice-president and chair of the Make a Difference Day committee.

The initial efforts involved collecting clothing for the needy, Wolfe said.

"Last year, we did a lot of outdoor projects around the school," she said, including relining the playground, clearing the shrubbery and repainting.

This year, the activities were moved indoors to the school cafeteria, where a number of stations were set up between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Students and parents who participated in the day could choose from a number of projects, including:

* Completing classroom projects suggested by Buckeye Woods teachers and staff.

* Making book covers out of fabric.

* Contributing shoes for the district shoe collection.

* Making knotted fleece blankets and pillows that will be used by children receiving long-term care at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

* Decorating and writing letters to military men and women that will be distributed through the organization A Million Thanks.

* Making crafts that will be given to residents at the Carriage Court and Emeritus assisted living facilities in Grove City.

"The idea is to have families participate in our day's activities," Wolfe said. "I think it's especially important for our students to learn early the importance of giving back to the community."

Second-grader Natalie Tolliver spent part of her Saturday making blankets and pillows for Children's Hospital.

"I wanted to come out and help make a difference," she said. "It's better than just sitting around the house and watching TV."

Her mother, PTA volunteer Carol Tolliver, said her daughter and other Buckeye Woods students who participated in Make a Difference Day are not only giving, but also gaining something important.

"It's nice for them to be able to come in to the school and do something to help others," she said. "I know Natalie really enjoyed being part of Make a Difference Day last year."