Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Being a Citizen

Well, the coins are counted and the tallies are in! Last week was my Veteran's Day community service project to support our local Honor Flight hub, an organization that flies World War II vets to Washington, DC free of charge to visit the memorials. A quick refresher: my fundraiser was a competitive change drive where the kiddos put money into a milk jug for their grade level during lunch periods, and the grade level that raised the most in a week won a pizza party.

Over the summer, I accompanied a group of students on a field trip to the local naval park in the harbour to tour the WWII warships and submarine docked there. Two seventh grade boys, N and P, enjoyed the trip and the history behind the ships so much that I asked them to help me with the project. They were responsible for collecting the jugs full of change and bringing them to my office after lunch periods, and they helped me count the money Friday afternoon. N also made a generous donation for his grade level.

I think thanks in part to N and P's dedication, our seventh grade classes had a pizza party today! They raised the most money, but it was a close race between them and our fourth and first grades. In total, $145 was raised, which will pay for almost half of one veteran's trip to Washington. It doesn't seem like much, but I was very pleased with the outcome and know that Honor Flight benefits from any contribution. The students in my school come from high poverty backgrounds and don't have much to give monetarily. Community service and volunteering is so important to me, and I hope a project like this shows them that even the smallest gift, whether it's a dollar, a thank-you card, or a handshake, can make a difference to those in the community, especially those who serve so selflessly for our freedom and futures. It was also a great way to commemorate November's character trait of the month, "citizenship."

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