In our little town, we have a wonderful celebration for the elementary kids to recognize the 100th day of school. Six years ago our Principal organized the "100 days of giving" to help the children of our town celebrate 100 days of school and recognize what they can do for our community. It is truly an awsome program and today was the 100th day!
Just after Christmas break each classroom in our primary and elementary schools (K-6) is assigned a food/non-perishable item. The class then has until the 100th day of school to collect 100 of that item. Toothpaste, cans of soup, boxes/bags of rice, rolls of toilet paper etc. The kids work hard and each class has a tally on their door marking their progress. The collecting continues until the 100th day. Today was that day.
The classrooms each have an opportunity to make a display of their donations- these towers and stacks and heaps fill the gymnasium floor. Members of the community arrive at the school- representatives from the town food bank come to receive the items. Each class sends a student (or 2) up to hand a certificate to the food bank staff reading off into the microphone what they collected and how many items they were able to gather. The kids clap and cheer for their fellow classes and remark at the classes who have far surpased the goal. After poems and songs, the kids file back to class and the remaingin parents box up the food and it goes directly out the doors into waiting trucks for immediate delivery to the needy in our community.
Today we were told that the pantry now serves 175 families. 2/3 of which are from our town and 1/3 of which is from a neighbring town. I am glad to know that in these tough economic times there is such an active resource right here in town to help those in need. I am honored that my kids, and our family can be a part of that process. I am blessed that our school and community feel so strongly that kids know the good in giving.
Billy's class brought in 105 bags/boxes of rice (and he "presented" the donation) Savanna's class collected 140 cans of green and yellow beans! Olivia's ceremony at the 6th grade school will follow, but she assures me they have reached their goal of 100 cleaning products. At the 6th grade, once homerooms had reached their goals, they branched out to start helping classes that were farther behind. The kids are always excited to come home with updates on their tallies and we all look forward to seeig the collective donation.
I am so honored to be a parent to kids who have learned the lessons of giving so young- and feel so blessed to live in a community that thinks so highly of creating decent human beings. That our school staff has commited to make this a yearly tradition warms my heart! Other schools inthe area have heard about our 100 days of giving, and have begun to follow suit. The kids are learning what they (even as little kids) can do!
Over all, the school donated 1,994 items today to our food pantry. What a wonderful event to be part of!