Spirit of Caring and GivingDuring the holidays, the entire school community pulls together to provide gifts for the underprivileged families. The counselor identifies the families, which is kept confidential, and collects wish lists from each family. A parent committee takes the wish lists and sets up a mitten-picking day when students and staff pick mittens with gift requests written on them. The parents collect the gifts, making sure that each recipient receives at least five gifts. There is then a gift pick-up night when the school shuts down to respect the privacy of the recipients. The fire department helps carry gifts to cars and provides a Santa for the children. Hot chocolate and cookies are served. The counselors, principals, and nurse are there to make contact with the families, and foster relationships. This is a huge bridge building activity between these families and the school. It is also an excellent way for teachers to provide a service learning opportunity for their students. Caring and giving is the topic of many class meetings during this time. Writing and reflection activities take place helping the students to internalize what the word of the month, caring, means to them.
Ms. Rhonda Mozingo