Posted on December 6, 2017
Teaching our students the importance of service-learning is not an "add-on" to our curriculum. Instead, the necessity of serving our community is elevated because it is fully integrated into daily and unit instruction. One of the common threads that run throughout our 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade curriculum is the understanding that our students should regularly be engaged in activities designed to help them realize that they are inextricably connected to a local, national, and worldwide community. As such, we all share in the responsibility of caring for one another.
For many years now, our middle school has partnered with Catholic Charities in support of our local community. This week, our students finished their Buckets of Joy Project, an outreach that provides a Christmas "bucket" filled with gifts for people in need. Understanding that Christmas will be a challenging time for many children in our community, our students were sensitive to this. With the support of their parents, they gave immeasurably.
As a testament to the fundamental belief that we are stewards of our community, our students and parents collectively gave such an overflow of gifts and items that we were also able to provide some support for the River of Life Mission. This organization provides for homeless families with children. As I witnessed the smiles on the faces of our students who were preparing the gift "buckets," I was reminded of something that Mother Teresa profoundly said: "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." The simple acts of kindness demonstrated by our Mid-Pacific community had a monumental impact this week on the recipients of this kindness.