Wednesday, December 30, 2015

#DoGood: Projects That Make a Difference

I am a kindergarten teacher and have the responsibility to teach kiddos to read, write, "do" math, get along with others, learn to be a scientist and learn some about our country.  I believe that teaching is more than that though; it is making connections and exposing them to opportunities they may not otherwise have.

I teach in a high poverty district (all children receive no cost breakfast and lunch), but we've learned that there is always someone we can help!  I want to share some of the things my kiddos did to brighten the lives of others in December.  I tied these things into our study of traditions the best I could and otherwise completed them with the mantra that they are traditions for me and an important lesson in giving back to the community they live in.

One thing students did was organize a school-wide toy drive for our local domestic violence shelter.  This is the second year my class did this drive. Toys collected could be new or gently used, with an emphasis on gently used to teach students that they have more than others.  New toys were used as gifts for students at the shelter where the gently used toys were added to the shelter's play room.  Students designed the flyer (we collected for a week), cleaned the toys and helped carry them to the van when the shelter came to pick them up.

The second activity was to decorate cookies for the local police and fire departments.  We added the county sheriff department as well because one my kiddos has a partner that is a deputy.  They also took plates of cookies around the school staff members.  We decorated 143 cookies one morning.  It was such a fun morning of hearing their squeals and seeing their excitement for decorating cookies.  The hats were an idea from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.

My kiddos really wanted to give cookies to nursing home residents or hospital patients, but I explained to them that sometimes people who are in the hospital or nursing home can't have those kinds of goodies.  So they decided they wanted to make veggie trays for the nurses at these places and ornaments for the residents of a nursing home where one of my kiddo's grandma works.  The veggie tray went to the ER at the hospital.  They were so appreciative!  My mom is a nurse and said the ER rarely gets treats because people are in and out.

Parents were invited to donate veggies and the cookies used above (we used Gordon Food Service cutouts; 72 for $9.99).  I made homemade icing after "cheating" on the cookies and a parent offered to send in sprinkles. I cut the veggies the night before and a couple pairs of kiddos put them on trays the next morning.

These little wreaths had a ribbon added to the top to hang.  It just black cardstock "o"s cut from the Ellison with buttons glued on.

I loved that my kiddos were excited to give back.  The shelter shared a couple other projects we could help with this spring, and I'm looking forward to partnering with them again.  I know this can't be the basis of my instruction, but I want my kiddos to look back on kindergarten and remember that they grew as a people not just in academics.


  1. Love reading about what you do with your kinders! The organization of the veggie tray was my favorite pic!!! So serious! ;)

  2. Love reading about what you do with your kinders! The organization of the veggie tray was my favorite pic!!! So serious! ;)