What Does the Community Have to Say?

“The capes that we received from Community Heroes have been so impactful to the patients at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Recently, we used them in our Playroom as an art project. Patients and siblings were able to decorate their own cape which encouraged creativity, imaginative play, and community building. Thank you for making patients feel like the superheroes that they are!” —Amanda McGee, Childlife Services, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco

“At a time when community organizations such as traditional service clubs and community agencies are finding recruitment for community service to be a challenge, Community Heroes offers a ‘grow your own’ approach. Certainly, it will take time to produce a generation of service-oriented adults, but young people be serving as they mature. This vision can only have a positive effect on our community now and in the years to come. I congratulate Community Heroes on its vision, dedication and progress.” —Mary Jane Burke, Marin County superintendent of schools

“This unique program has lit a spark within our students and tapped into their strong desire to talk about and grapple with real-world issues, such as hunger, homelessness, health and natural disasters. The lunch club format is an ideal setting to discuss such issues, and facilitated by Kala and reinforced by the hero videos, the students put themselves in the shoes of others, building important social-emotional skills along the way. Community Heroes has helped make service (at school, locally and globally) a genuine priority for our students and has opened up important conversations about our role in the world and what’s really important.” —Julie Harris, Sun Valley Elementary School principal

“The program’s founder, Kala Shah, came and spoke to our site council and her enthusiasm for spreading the message of community service and ‘kids helping kids’ was infectious.” —Barbara Snekkevik, co-facilitator of the Community Heroes Club at Mary E. Silveira Elementary

“Our Book Swap was a tremendous success because of the help of our Community Heroes! The Community Heroes group at Dixie School helps students make a difference in the world around them. I am grateful to them for making a difference in our library and helping to spread the joy of reading to the Dixie community and beyond.” —Jackie Berringer, Dixie School librarian

“One of the most powerful aspects of this program is that it is student-driven. Young children discuss world issues and then decide as a group how they can best positively impact their community. This method encourages altruism, problem-solving skills, listening and communication skills, flexibility and helps build their self-esteem, as they feel good about creating positive change. My second grader loves attending the biweekly meetings. Since joining, his awareness and empathy for others has tangibly increased.” —Laura R. Garroway Myers, Tam Valley principal and Mary E. Silveira parent

“The Community Heroes program has become a catalyst for positive change in our community. The visionary leaders of the program, Kala Shah and Toan Lam, empower students to take action to solve real-world problems. Marin County is fortunate to have the Community Heroes program’s energy and enthusiasm. They give me hope for the future of our society. I support their efforts to scale their work and develop a model that will enable them to continue to positively impact our youth.” —Erin Ashley, co-founder of Ipso Schools

“It’s refreshing to see so much positivity and pro-active service coming from such a young group of students. In a word, it gives me hope.” —Jennifer Marks, Mary E. Silveira Elementary past president (2014-2016), Can Do! co-chair (2012-2015)

“Community Heroes seems to have the perfect blend of fun, values and skills to keep kids coming back. More importantly, Community Heroes makes community service a regular part of life, and not just something to do on a special occasion. I think this program is one of the best things going on at San Rafael public schools. Since becoming part of Community Heroes, my daughters regularly express concern over issues like homelessness, poverty, illness, climate change, and so on, but, instead of feeling overwhelmed (as I often do), are quick to offer ideas of how to become engaged in solutions.” —Anne Marie Helm, Sun Valley Elementary parent

“The Community Heroes club has given us a platform to engage the entire school in service and bring a culture of philanthropy to Dixie.” —Atashi Chakravarty, Dixie Elementary parent, Community Heroes lead lunch club coordinator

“It is impressive how much impact these kids have created, raising thousands of dollars for many charities, lifting the spirits of hundreds of sick children and most importantly, empowering each child with a sense of purpose and awareness of the needs of the world around us.” —Meghan Greenwood, Sun Valley Elementary PTO president

What Do Kids Think About Community Heroes?

What does it mean to be a Community Hero?

“”Making change,” “Helping others,” “Being part of a fun group,” “Learning what to do when someone needs help,” “It makes me warm inside,” “This is my last year here, but I will continue helping people,” “The group put a smile on my face,” “We helped make the world a better place,” “We helped children,” “I had the feeling of cleaning the world’s garbage patch (floating garbage/plastic collections in our oceans),” “We affect people all over the world,” “Helping animals makes me happy,” “We make other people happy,” “We helped the world’s animals,” “We did amazing things,” “We saved things,” “This group gives me a good feeling,” “We make the world a better place,” “It’s inspiring and teaches me how to be a humanitarian.”

What was your favorite part about our group?

“Beach boxes,” “Making skits,” “Helping the animals,” “Helping foster kids,” “Helping the earth,” “Buddy Benches,” “The Marin Humane Society’s Dogs.”

What will you do over the summer to be a hero?

“Start a clean up club,” “Look for clean up stations at the beach,” “Clean up Val Park,” “Clean up Hawaii and Florida’s beaches,” “Help animals and foster kids buy more food and books,” “Help people at my mom’s homeless shelter.”

What would you change about CH next year?

“All schools should have this program so there is more progress.”

“We should put what we do in a newspaper that will get properly recycled.”

“Make a giant Garbage Picker Upper.”

“Put cameras on the beach to see people using the clean-up stations.”

“CH should be every day.”

“There should be an after-school program.”

“We should go on a trip to the beach.”

“We should put counters on the beach stations so we know how many people are using them.”