Friday, December 16, 2011

Passing on Gratitude in 2011

I woke up really tired this morning and not ready for the last Friday of 2011 in my classroom, but then I realized why I was tired, and I was thankful for being tired. Typically every morning I log onto the computer and read my favorite blogs and check out twitter before I leave for school.  I read Mary Lee's post at A Year of Readin A wonderful reminder during the busy time of year. Sorry friend for linking to the wrong blog first-guess I did need a blogging break :)

Yesterday all the fifth graders in my school spent the afternoon on our annual "5th Graders Give Back." They had earned money over the past two weeks doing family chores which helped them give back to their families. After we collected the money, we purchased enough peanut butter & jelly to make sandwiches, bags of chips and cookies. The students made 100 brown bag dinners.  In addition, we collected toiletries and made 100 bags including soap, shampoo, cream rinse, toothpaste/toothbrush and deodorant.  We took all the bags to the Mid Ohio Food Bank to help our community.

 To help the students reach beyond our community, with the additional money, we collected we supported the Heifer Organization.  Here is a small excerpt from their website. Our goal is to  work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope. With gifts of livestock and training, Heifer projects help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. This year we were able to purchase a water buffalo and a flock of chicks.  The students were very excited to reach out and help others. 

It was a very busy afternoon, the final two rotations included practicing singing holiday carols. A group of students with my marvelous teaching partner, Sarah, leading them went after school to a nursing home to sing carols during their dinner time. The last rotation, the students made cards for children who are patients at Children's Hospital. Our goal is to have the students spend 2 hours --giving back and paying it forward. This is a good tired-

Finally and most important I am thankful for my family: Tom, Anna and Marcus without their support and all our special family memories I would not be where I am today. I am excited to have a "full house" again now that they are home from college.  I am taking a blogging break until after New Years. Thanks for being on my journey and reading the blog and leaving comments-I am very thankful for my blogging community. Best wishes for a marvelous holiday season
and an amazing New Year-check back in 2012.


  1. What an awesome way to teach the kids to pay it forward! Keep up the good work, my friend!

  2. What a wonderful post.
    Inspiring and motivating...
    I'm thinking of turning our 100th Day of School into a service project. You've given me a great idea!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. We LOVE the heifer project! Thanks for sharing; sounds like you really inspired them to reach outside of themselves. Sending smiles from the south,


  4. I continue to be in awe of how fabulous of a teacher you are! You are amazing at teaching children to go beyond themselves and find the good within themselves!

  5. Thanks for all your kind words-I am extremely thankful for my friends from a distance and the community that we live in through blogging.