Empathy is a force that helps us understand others. We can see it developing in children from a very young age (babies, even!) but seeing the activities in elementary, middle, and high school, (the workforce, too) makes me wonder: Where does the empathy go?
Like a muscle, UCCC believes that empathy needs to be exercised before it atrophies. That’s why, when the Student Interns from the Special School District Vocational Skills Program introduced the idea of the food drive to us, we jumped right on board. "We were getting ready to attend a 4H event," said SSD teacher Katina Harshbarger, "and we thought we'd invite UCCC as a way to build a stronger community."
Children and families here are collecting canned goods, dry goods, and toiletries to support one of our close neighbors, Operation Food Search. Classrooms are getting behind the food drive, using the project with kids as a way to talk about giving back.
I asked Ms. Teri in the Shooting Stars classroom what her class was talking about throughout the food drive: “Well, we asked the kids what they knew about food drives, and the first response we got was Aiden, who said, ‘It’s when you are in your car driving and you get hungry.’ We had to take a step back after that.”
Throughout the week, children have been learning what it means to give back. Just using the Shooting Stars as and example, the Food Drive ties in with another topic they’ve been discussing: Super Heroes – they’re about giving back, too! Ms. Veronica of the Super Nova classroom said she is encouraging families to talk about it at home, asking questions with children like, "I wonder if the family who gets this cereal will like it as much as our family does." (See the Super Nova lesson plan for food drive here.)
We are loving this project because all year round we are the recipients of such great generosity. This is a great way to get children and families involved as a community, and we are all reminded of gifts we have been given that make us grateful.
If you would like to donate, please bring whatever you can. If you are looking for an idea, each classroom is brining a type of donation.
- Milky Ways and Moonbeams -> baby food
- Starburst -> dry pasta
- Comets -> canned soups
- Big Dippers -> canned fruits
- Shooting Stars -> dry rice and beans
- Supernovas -> dry breakfast items
- Super Stars -> canned vegetables
- Horizons -> canned meat/fish or protein
- Administration -> toiletry items
Post By Kris Schwetye
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- Actions Speak Louder than Words
- Loving Your Child [Part 3 of 3]
- Memories of UCCC