When you have a four day school week that includes Valentine’s Day, the 100th Day of school, 2 in school birthday celebrations, an enormous food drive, a paper for grad school and report grades due…it doesn’t feel like a four day week!
Years ago, our school district gave us a full week off in February. Now, we get Friday and Monday. Not a whole week, but these four days off starting tomorrow, will give me the chance to catch my breath.
Right now I am just thinking how nice it will be nice to go to bed without setting an alarm!
Hoping all of my teacher friends have a nice relaxing and calm long weekend!!
This afternoon, I, along with several amazing volunteers delivered over 125 bags of food to two local food pantries. Our school had our annual 100th Day of School Food Drive. We challenge every class to collect 100 items by the 100th day of school, (today,) and then all of it gets donated to these two food pantries.
I am fortunate to teach in a community of very supportive families and their contributions helped to fill the shelves. When I arrived at one of the pantries, the shelves were nearly empty. There were lots of green beans and tomato sauce, but other than that, the shelves were nearly bare. The woman who organizes the pantry told me that they weren’t sure what was going to happen on Saturday when people came to get food, because there was so little there to give them.
I am so grateful that our school was able to do a part in getting those shelves filled. Sadly, that food won’t last long and I wish there was a way to get the word out about how important it is to keep the pantries stocked.
When you see a “Can Can Sale,” grab a few extras. Drop them off. They are needed more than most people are aware!!
Lent began today. Forty (+) days of no dessert. That will be my “sacrifice.” Some days that is harder than others. I will also do an act of kindness each day. This morning I found this cute graphic that I am going to use for some of the treats I might give out.
I tied it to a yummy KIND bar and put it in the mailbox of a coworker today. Today’s photo prompt is XOXO and although it doesn’t say it, here…I think it has the same meaning.
Today was the last day of school. “We are 180 days smarter” we said, as we kissed our brains before leaving today. It is always a bittersweet day ending the school year. I have spent so much time with these children. It is their second home. 180 days spent together, and it has suddenly come to an end. They are ready to move on, First Graders now.
We sat around in a circle today and ended the day like we always do. We talk about our favorite part of the day. I like doing this with them as a recap of their day. Today, we changed it and ended with our favorite part of Kindergarten. It was so much fun listening to what they remembered most. Magic Playdough, Pajama Day, our pizza party, the 100th day of school, our Kindergarten show, the ant farm, making new friends… the list went on and on. I told them all that for me, my favorite part of kindergarten was meeting 23 new friends.
Every year, it is hard to say goodbye to my class. I will still see them next year. Many of them come back to visit and to read to the new Kindergarteners. As we said goodbye and they went off to their families at dismissal today, a few of them were crying. I imagine it is just as hard for them to say goodbye. I gave them each a big hug, wished them a safe and happy summer and they were off. Saying goodbye only takes a moment, but those goodbyes are filled with so many wonderful memories.
Tomorrow is our school’s annual 100th Day Food Drive. We challenge every class to collect 100 items of food by The 100th day and we donate it to two local food pantries. Last year brought in a lot of food and it is our hope that this year does the same. Unfortunately with so many snow days and the winter break, collection has been a bit slower than it has in the past. We are hoping for one big push tomorrow to get the classes to their goal.
In the past we have used large bins for collecting but after a few years of the collections, we have dwindled down to just a few bins and unfortunately those bins are snowed into our garage. Today, Drew and I went to a convenience store in town to try to buy recyclable shopping bags so that I could give s bunch to each classroom. I am hoping that they will be stronger and more durable for transporting the food than paper or plastic ones. I was hoping to get a good deal on them since they were for a community service project. No such luck at the first store. They had some but weren’t willing to sell them for less than a dollar and I needed over 100 of them so that wasn’t going to work!
We headed over to the local Pathmark. I was hoping that if I could speak to a manager, perhaps we’d get lucky. As we walked in the front door, we passed a bin FILLED to the top with them. They had Superbowl XLVIII on them and since the Superbowl is over, they were all on clearance! Twenty cents each. I brought one to customer service hoping that there was no limit and there wasn’t so Drew and I scooped up all 115 that we needed for only $25! (I love a bargain!)
Tomorrow is collection day. I have arranged for volunteers to meet me after school to help transport the food. I don’t know if we will reach our goal of 100 items per class, but no matter how much we get, it will be a success and I am grateful to everyone who makes this day possible every year.
Children are enthusiastic about life, eager to learn, and curious about everything. I am lucky enough to be able to spend my days with them watching how they interact with each other and the world around them.
You may be surprised at how clever they are. They handle themselves differently than adults. They live spontaneously and are eager to try new things and are not intimidated to try again if they don’t succeed the first time. A child’s mind is open to all the world has to offer. They don’t mind trying new things and often think they are invincible. Their imagination sparks their dreams and curiosity. As adults, we often lose sight of our imagination. There is much we can learn from the behavior of children. Playing comes naturally to kids because play time is fun time, and kids love to have fun. As we get older we forget how great it feels to let loose and just play and just enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
In the beginning of February, I challenged my class of Kindergarteners to commit 100 acts of kindness before the 100th day of school. In my many years of teaching, I have learned that so much of what children say is insightful! I found some of the things that they thought of to be so heartwarming and genuine. I had to share a few.
- I gave my mom a quarter that I found
- I made a card for the crossing guard who was in the hospital
- I picked out a toy for my sister when I went to the toy store
- I shared my last piece of chocolate with my brother
- I cleaned the bathtub
- I got my sister her socks when she would not go upstairs
- I went outside in the snow to get my dad’s jacket that he forgot
- I put my clothes in the hamper, not on the floor
- I brought my mom some juice
- I helped my dad carry a heavy box
Sometimes, we need to relive our Kindergarten days. It makes us think about our priorities and what is most important to us. My days in Kindergarten often help my put my life into perspective!
About one in six people in the United States struggles with hunger, and issues related to hunger affect people in every community.
In celebration of The 100th Day of School, Tuscan Elementary School where I teach, holds an annual food drive where we challenge each class to collect 100 items of non-perishable food by the 100th day. Our school has about 25 classes ranging from grades K-5. I believe that it is very important to show our children that we are empathetic to the needs of others. It doesn’t take much really, just offering kind word, a handshake, or opening a door for another person. The food drive seems to bring out the best in so many! The fifth graders were so engaged and willing to help and the students passing in the hallway outside of my classroom where the food was piling up could not help but to stop and stare wondering just how much was there!
The totals came in throughout the day and by the end of the day we had collected over 2600 items!! We were able to split those items and deliver them to two local food pantries. This also could not have been done without the amazing school community that we have. Moms, dads and kids helped pack up cars and drive the food over to the pantries, and then unload them all when they got there! There were hundreds of bags and this was a huge undertaking. I am so proud to be a part of The Tuscan School Community, both as a teacher AND as a parent!
You can help fight hunger in your local community by holding a food drive in your neighborhood, office, place of worship or school. Helping your local food bank stock up can also help your community be better prepared for emergencies, as demand on food banks often grows during a disaster or crisis. It is amazing what can happen when we all work together.