One of the best experiences I have had in my 20 years of teaching happened just a few weeks ago. St. Matthew Catholic School had its second event to raise awareness for helping the poor. Last March we celebrated Poverty Action Day, and this year we had Poverty Action Week right before Spring Break. Each day students had a special activity or presentation to raise awareness on how we can help those in need, and the week culminated with a food packing event on Friday. Combined students, teachers, staff, and parents packed over 52,000 meals for http://servantswithaheart.org. Check out this interview with one of our kindergarten teachers which explains the week in more detail.
I've had two weeks to reflect on this experience I shared with my 25 first graders. I had no idea before we did this that http://servantswithaheart.org/ existed and was based in Charlotte. Seeing images of children who had already been helped by this organization truly touched me. I can't imagine living in the conditions these children and their families face every day. I could tell by the reactions of my first graders that they couldn't imagine such immense need either.
When it came time to pack the food on Friday, my thoughts pondered whether my first graders could stay focused for almost an hour on this task. Each student had an assigned spot in an assembly line. Well my teacher worries were wasted because my students were awesome! They took pride in their work, and they loved doing it:) I think they could've gone longer, but we were on a strict schedule to make certain that every student in our school had the opportunity to help.
I'm grateful that this happened at a busy time in the school year. Poverty Action Week reminded me that the bigger purpose to every thing we do at our school is to share the Gospel. To have the chance to serve with my first graders is something I will never forget. What I want most for my students is for them to develop compassionate hearts. Poverty Action Week gave them the opportunity to put their compassion into action.
At a time when the news is full of tragic stories, our St. Matthew Wildcats were doing something good. I hope you'll check out http://servantswithaheart.org.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read.