It seems there is always some sort of service project going on at my school. Last week wrapped up a couple of weeks of collecting coats for a local ministry that serves the homeless. We have a very generous school and the amount of coats collected was amazing!
This week is Caring for Animals Week. We always do this during Valentines week, thanks to a teacher who years ago said she would rather students bring in supplies for the local animal shelter rather than chocolate and goodies for her. It has really caught on and the students love bringing in dog and cat food as well as other pet related products.
We've gone through several transitions to highlight the event. At one point teachers signed up to spend fifteen minutes in a gigantic dog fence in the cafeteria during lunch while students donated change to the cause. As you might imagine this was immensely popular with the students but not so much for the teachers! Now we encourage classes to compete to bring in supplies. In addition, students can buy tickets to win stuffed animals. The money from the tickets is donated to the animal shelter and the winners are highlighted on the morning student news show.
Learning to contribute to worthy causes and to take care of animals and each other is not only fun but also good for students' character development. It teaches generosity and compassion. A book that I've found that makes a great lesson for this special week is A Home for Dixie by Emma Jackson. It is a true story of a rescued dog and the girl who rescues her. The book is illustrated with lovely full-color photographs. The story teaches the responsibility necessary to adopt a dog as well as the benefits that the family receives in return. I highly recommend it!
What about you? Does your school participate in similar events? Has your family adopted a rescue dog? Donated to a cause for animals? What has been the benefit?