Special things happening….

A little while ago I was encouraging educators to join us on Working together 2 make a difference and support the bushfire relief effort. I am so pleased to let you know that some very special things are happening on that site. Our membership has grown and we have seen the service learning efforts of educators and students from many different parts of the world.

I just had to highlight a couple of special moments from the last couple of days. Bill Ferriter from North Carolina (I hope I’m right there Bill!) has quietly been working away with his grade six students and posted this;

One of the things that I’m proud of is that my sixth grade students are really aware of the world around them. With the help of my buddy, Mike Hutchinson, I’ve developed a daily current event lesson that ties together our social studies and language arts curriculum nicely.

Better yet, it’s a lesson that my kids embrace completely because they love knowing more about the world around them. Every year when I survey my students, current events is what they like the best about my class because it makes them feel important and knowledgeable when they’re sitting at the kitchen table with their parents.

So when the Austrailian brush fires started, my students were consumed by the news. Watching video of fire streaming through neighborhoods and destroying cars was heartbreaking for them. We talked about how similar the devastation was to the scenes after Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans—and we talked about how we might be able to help from a thousand miles away.

Our solution was simple: We decided to try to earn $5.00 a piece to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. We picked $5.00 because it represented one good paperback book—-something that we value greatly. The thought that we might be able to help replace destroyed classroom libraries was really quite cool to our kids.

Over the course of two weeks, we ended up raising $245—-$110 of which came from an impromptu rose sale on Valentines Day that started when one of our students showed up with 150 roses to sell.

But more importantly, we ended up feeling good because we knew that we’d helped out!

Now, on to our next project—Do Something Funny for Money Day:

http://snipurl.com/funny4money     

My reply was this;

Bill, please convey to your students how touched we are by their generosity. It warms my heart and I’m sure the hearts of others to know that students from so far away can sympathise and relate to a tragedy many miles from them. Today was our National Day of Mourning for what has come to be known as Black Saturday here in Australia. Healing has begun, but we are still a long way from recovery. Knowing Grade 6 students from the United States have reached out to us is one of the steps to aid in the healing process.

Then tonight when I visited I discovered a new member, Carolyn Wojtera  (from Virginia) and a photostory her Grade 1 students had made in response to the crisis;

I feel so good about Working together 2 make a difference and I know Angela and Laura do too. Our community is definitely forming  – we would love to see you there too.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Special things happening….

  1. Hey Jenny,

    I’m just glad that you set the community up—-and that my district FINALLY (two weeks worth of back and forth) decided to unblock it so I can show my students that they are a part of a “community” and not acting in isolation.

    Hope all y’all “down under-ers” are working through a difficult time.

    Bill

    • jennylu

      Well I’m glad that you found the site and are helping to build the community there. It’s great that your kids are finally able to see it. What would be wonderful is if we can start to make connections that lead to cooperative efforts amongst members.
      People here in Australia have come together to support those affected by the fires; everywhere you go you see bushfire relief efforts taking place. Thanks once again for reaching out.

  2. nina davis

    Hi Jenny,
    Wrote another post on, why blog? Hope you get a chance to visit my blog and link me, because it’s my best post so far…. and I want a wider audience to read it.
    Cheers Nina

  3. Jenny, I loved the photostory. So simple, so powerful. I love the way you’re taking the learning out of the textbook and into the world.

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