Saturday, October 18, 2008

Teaching Social Awareness

I want to give a quick shout-out to Scholastic.

You know ... the company you order books through for your kids in their classroom.

I so love Scholastic.

First of all, when my students order books, I accumulate 'points' that I can use to 'buy' free books for my classroom library. As a teacher (small paycheck!) , I so appreciate this. I want to supply my students with rich, interesting books at varying reading levels, but buying books is expensive, and Scholastic gives me the opportunity to keep my classroom library interesting.

I love you Scholastic.

Another reason I love Scholastic ...

They give teachers opportunities for us to raise awareness of social issues and get kids in the front seat for helping others.

Twice a year, Scholastic hosts a program called Scholastic: ClassroomsCare. Each program has a different theme.

Here's how it works:
  • Teachers sign up their classroom for Scholastic: Classrooms Care
  • Students keep track of the books they read (or are read to them)

  • When our classroom has read 100 books, I jump online and let Scholastic know

  • Our goal has been met and our charity gift is given

In the Winter last year, we read 100 books and 100 books were donated (by Scholastic and it's partners) to kids in need throughout the United States.

In the Spring, we read 100 books, and money was donated to save rain forests.

Right now, my class is in the middle of our next fundraiser. The great thing about this one, was Scholastic gave us a list of charities, and we got to pick which one we wanted to help.

We are currently reading 100 books (we've read 66 so far!) and when we reach our goal, 100 books will be donated to kids in the New Orleans community.

Last week, we learned all about hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina, and why students in New Orleans would need new books.

The grand finale of the week was a special visitor. Yesterday from 3:00 - 3:30, my cousin brought her dog to my classroom to visit the kids. The reason this was so special is because Jenn rescued Jasper ... he is a Hurricane Katrina Survivor!

The kids sat in awe while Jenn described Jasper's journey. He was trapped in a barn with barbed wire caught around his hind legs. Chemicals dripped on Jasper's hind quarters while he tried to free himself. We don't know how long he was trapped, or how long he went without food.

But what we do know, is that after years of medicine and therapy, Jasper is a very happy boy, who brought a ton of joy to 21 kids on Friday.

Thank you Scholastic, for giving me the opportunity to teach my students about world issues, charity, sacrifice, helping others and volunteering. Most importantly, for giving me a format for dialog with my students about helping others.

Thank you Jenn for bringing in Jasper he is our new classroom hero!


Nicole said...

I like that about scholastic too. I love getting books for our classroom. We usually get those social awareness books- so cool that the dog got to come in. :)
do you bring your dog in? he is super cute

Diane Davis said...

ah, this brings up childhood memories. you sound like such an amazing teacher!

Ashley Julian said...

I have to agree with Diane. Your kids and their parents are blessed to have a teacher like you.