It’s December and the holiday season is approaching quickly. If we calculate (assuming your school closes on Dec 21), then all that is left are 15 school days! This is a crazy time, but also a fun time. Most of us will do many activities based on the holidays within our classroom. But have you considered social activism? This is a time that students can be easily drawn into the whole commercialization of the holidays. Students are caught up with what they want to get but we need to help them understand that this is a time for giving and caring as well. Most of the time, students and their parents are also wondering what they can purchase for you. You have heard of those AHA moments, and this is one of them! Students learn by example, and we could be the greatest example during this holiday season. Have a discussion with them about how important it is for you to help others. Why not ask them to avoid purchasing something for you (if they intended to) and utilized that money and donate it to help others. This could be done in many ways. Here are some suggestions:
1) As a class go to a food bank and volunteer your time. Students who were planning to purchase something for you can use those funds as donation, or could purchase non perishable items to bring along. This is great for students who would not normally be purchasing anything due to financial constraints or just do not do teacher gifts but still would like to help others.
2)There is an organization that helps with Gifts of Hope. There are gifts as little as $10 and if that is still too much students can pool their funds together. Visit the website www.plancanada.ca/givehope with your students and show them how something so small can create positive change in the world.
3) Visit a local nursing home and have students prepare songs to perform. Students can use their funds in order to subsidize transportation
4) Create a Holiday Hamper. This is a collaborative project where people donate food, clothing and other essential needs to a family in need. Your school Social Worker, Administration and local church can steer you in the right direction with proper information to ensure items are appropriate but still maintaining the privacy and dignity of the family.
What is important to remember is that all it takes is a small change to make a big difference! We are including a link to a fantastic video to generate discussion with your students and see that they too can make a difference! Click on the link below for the video. We would love to read about what you have done for others in your school, community and local areas. Wishing you a wonderful December!