How can we create a culture of charity in our classrooms/schools?
This week's TeachThought #reflectiveteacher post focuses on the work schools can do to promote a culture of charity.
Charity should be a school-wide and district-wide endeavor. My district has a new monthly newspaper this school year and each edition is full of examples of students, classes, and schools at all levels seeing need within their environments and doing something about it. These demonstrations of compassion are a shining example of all that is good within my school community. Our district website and school websites demonstrate this emphasis, as well.
Student groups are have dedicated themselves to ecology, green recycling, and gardening. Other groups like a High School Student Council is responsible for organizing a Senior Citizen Prom. One of our High Schools runs a yearly Charity Week and raises money for causes they support while having fun.
Many of the Middle Schools have volunteer classes (like the one I am a part of) and peer mentoring to help 6th Graders transition to Middle School. The High Schools have a similar program for incoming freshman.
Charity begins with our district's youngest students. Elementary students are classroom buddies with younger children and help out with technology and reading. There have also been fundraisers and events to support those in need. Food and clothing drives exist at all levels of the district, as do staff-led drives for colleagues to fill backpacks of school supplies for needy children.
The emphasis on giving of ourselves to others begins at the doors of our school buildings and its impact is felt within our community.