Friday, December 11, 2009

Random Streams of Consciousness and Kindness

I've been really thinking about a lot of things recently. I am so grateful for my family, friends, and the best school full of people who care about each other and the children they serve. In the toughest of circumstances these people come through and they amaze me with their thoughtfulness and sincerity of mission. Here's just some of the kindness I've been witness to in just the past few weeks:

1 - One of our expected Learner Outcomes for students is that they learn to become Community Contributors and in this time of hardship for so many, our classrooms have elected to choose ways to give back to others during this season. In the past it has been tradition to hold a Holiday Auction in conjunction with our PTA in which all classes create a holiday decoration that is silently auctioned off with the proceeds given back to the classroom. This year we are offering a new twist on this old classic. Classrooms have discussed and chosen how they will participate in our new program the “Season of Giving Project”. Some classes still choose to participate in the Holiday Auction but instead donated their proceeds to a charitable cause. Other classes elected to complete a community service project (ex. making cards for our troops, donating time, etc…) or participated in a drive to collect items to donate (ex. food, clothing, or pet supplies for the animal shelter, etc…). You can't imagine the number of ways in which others have been helped through these gestures.

2 - A parent anonymously sent in $100 for a teacher to place in a needy student's lunch account. They also sent in a shopping gift card for the teacher to send to a family with the greatest need.

3 - 65 Thanksgiving baskets were assembled through the help of one of our Business Partners, Chets Creek Church, and distributed to our families in need.

4 - A colleague anonymously gave $100 to another colleague whose husband just lost his job. The receiving teacher wants whoever their angel is to know who touched and grateful they are. :)

5 - A colleague donated to a cause in the name of her team instead of participating in the team's annual gift exchange. The cause chosen benefits research for a condition a former colleague's child has been diagnosed with.

6 - To date over 200 cans of food and many, many toys have been donated by Chets Creek families to our Giving Tree for distributed to several families in need for the holidays.

7 - Our Behavior Interventionist has almost singlehandedly organized a community outreach event for tomorrow in our largest neighborhood with the greatest challenges. Teachers, staff and volunteers from Beach United Methodist Church will descend to help with home improvements and provide snacks, crafts and activities for our children.

This is a truly extraordinary place with incredibly kind and compassionate people. They touch lives that are forever changed for the better.


Anonymous said...

I'm thankful our children (our personal son and daughter) are growing up in this community that values halping a fellow man. They are learning compassion, empathy and are becoming empowered to help make a difference in someone's life. What an extradorinary place Chets Creek is.
-Karen Morris

T-Cubed said...

I am very proud to work with folks that model selfless giving. I think that modeling this type of behavior is the only way that children can be expected to grasp the power of giving.

Watching the event unfold at Port Side was a beautiful thing, as there were so many kids there helping out. I was glad that my kiddo had an opportunity to experience helping those less fortunate.

Michelle Ellis & Debby Cothern said...

It is incredible how our school has given this holiday season. 1st grade has bought new shoes, shirts, pants, jackets and toys for 7 needy children. The cost far out reaches $700. The students will wrap them tomorrow. They are so proud of their work. Thank you as our wonderful leader for guiding us in new and exciting adventures. We are thankful for you this holiday season. Merry Christmas

Melanie Holtsman said...

In such a busy, hectic time of the year it would be easy to say that you don't have time to do something extra. What a special group of people we work with as these acts of kindness are truly inspiring!

Dorry Lopez said...

Empathy: identifying with or vicariously experiencing the thoughts, feelings, attitudes of another person; to see the world through another's eyes. If everyone had the ability to do this, the world would be a much better place. At Chets Creek, this is what we have the ability to do, and that is why there is such an outpour of love and compassion. This is why I feel so at home at Chets Creek Elementary. Susan, your leadership, vision, and mission allows us to make everything you wrote about happen. You allowed us to make a change in our holiday tradition with the "Season of Giving Project", therefore, we were able to collect donations and give to the hungry, to the neglected and homeless animals, to the many charitable causes, to our troops, and many others who need people to care about them. I already had the best Christmas ever this past Saturday, when I got to experience working with my school friends and my church friends in giving away food, clothes, and toys to those less fortunate and in need. There is no greater feeling or blessing in the world than to be able to make someone else's life better by giving.

T-Cubed said...

I just have to say, "You go girl!" to everything that Dorry so eloquently stated!