Giving Thanks and Giving Back: Learning through Community Service

The best way to learn is by doing! This November, as we do each year, our Spanish Schoolhouse students are undertaking hands-on service projects to benefit those in need. Learning about community service is a focus throughout the month. Every school chooses one or more organizations/causes to support. The children love to learn about others and are so eager to help. Their giving hearts are truly an inspiration to us all!

School-wide Projects Deliver Big Results

Some of the school-wide projects adopted this year include food pantries, animal rescue centers, Salvation Army Angel TreeSamaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas ChildRonald McDonald HouseBattle for a Cure, Mater FiliusDar Desde el Corazón, and multiple senior living centers.  During circle time, each class discusses their project. They talk about why there is a need, and how we can all contribute to helping others.  The older students ask LOTS of questions (some not so easy to answer!) and love to brainstorm ways they can help.

Next, our thoughtful, compassionate parents step up!  As they take their children to purchase items, we know they are having meaningful conversations about what it means to lend a hand to someone in need.  Their acts of kindness then overflow our collection boxes!  We love to see the students proudly contributing items from their families. (And if their parents forget, they have been known to say, “We have to bring our donations.  The people need our help!”)  The generosity of our families is incredible to witness.

In many schools, parent volunteers (and their kiddos) deliver the items. In other schools, teachers volunteer to deliver the donations, often with their own children. It is really special when our students have the opportunity to see first-hand where their donations are going.  

Small Hands Touch Hearts

Sometimes our students create gifts that are from the heart and don’t cost a penny!  Many SSH classes create personal cards to deliver to senior centers or similar organizations.  There’s no doubt that a handmade card from a preschooler will bring a smile to someone’s day! 

At one Spanish Schoolhouse location, the preschoolers and kindergarteners are decorating food dishes with non-toxic materials for an animal rescue center.  Other locations are making thank you cards for community helpers like firefighters, police, and hospital workers.  One SSH location will brighten the days of patients at Children’s Medical Center with special works of art.  These small acts of service are tiny stepping stones to awareness of the world around us. Our amazing students can lead the way to create a better world for all.

Empathy and Sharing – Traits Worth Teaching!

Sharing is probably one of the most important qualities a parent wants their child to learn in preschool!  Whether it is sharing with friends or those we don’t even know (yet), giving and putting others first helps teach empathy. The students are able to imagine being in someone else’s shoes – being sick in the hospital, going without enough food, or even just being lonely.  Having empathy for others helps build connections and strong, healthy relationships.  

In this season of Thanksgiving, we’re giving thanks and giving back! Learning through community service is an essential part of our curriculum. We’re proud of our young students and all of their families for giving from the heart to help our community. And we are grateful for the ways these annual giving projects inspire us individually and as a team.