As we chatted at the dinner table the other night about the devastating earthquake in Nepal, I challenged our girls to do something to help. We talked about the possibilities, and suggested they try to organize something with classmates. The youngest one asked how you spell Nepal, and wrote it in her agenda.
The next day, she came home jubilant – her teacher had seen the little note in her agenda, asked her what it was for, and she had pitched the idea of their class doing a bake sale to raise money for those affected by the earthquake. Not only did her class think it was a great idea, but they ALL said they would bring something in to sell, and they ALL wanted to make posters to advertise their sale. She was thrilled that there was so much interest – “I didn’t think people would want to do it,” she said, “but even the boys wanted to!”
The teacher sent home an email to parents that night, planning the sale for the following week, and asking for donations of baked goods. Yesterday was the big day. Every child in the class brought baked goods to sell, they set themselves up with their wares and in one lunch-time, made $633! Amazing.
There has been a lot of talk lately about lost instructional days due to weather, and not allowing other activities to interfere with our instructional time, but that doesn’t mean we have to stick with textbooks, and not be creative in the ways we teach and learn.
I’m so pleased that my daughter’s teacher supported that activity, and not just because of the confidence boost it gave her, but because of the important learning opportunities it provided for her, and the rest of her class. The teacher emailed the parents after the sale and let them know how much money was raised, and the learning that had happened through this event. Each student spent their lunch break selling their own baked goods individually from their desk, so they were making change and being responsible for the money they collected. After they had finished, they collectively counted and rolled the money and delivered it to the office where it will be sent to the Red Cross. During the week prior to the sale, they made posters advertising their sale and their cause (which were obviously very effective!), and they spent time in class discussing Nepal, where it was, what had happened there. Their teacher said they had talked about how lucky they were to live where we live.
So, what has my daughter learned in school this week? Math, geography, language arts, and citizenship. But also, a little more appreciation for what we have and how lucky we are, and the knowledge that one person, or one small group of people can, and should, make a difference to those who are not. Time well spent, if you ask me.