Saturday, June 19, 2010

Achievers ARE Leaders, After All...

Three years ago, I created a program at our school where 4th and 5th grade students apply and are hired for jobs throughout the school. Our school motto was "3 Rs...Respect, Rigor, Results", so I called my program Achievers 'R' Leaders (ARL). ARL has grown from 97 kids that first year to 143 kids placed in jobs this year. The program is directed at empowering students who may not have achieved great success academically. It has been great for those kids' self-esteem and has gotten such positive feedback from parents, administrators and, of course, the kids themselves.

We already had an ARL Food Bank group that collects and donates food. This year, I wanted to add another charity-focused job. I decided to try an ARL Charity Quilters group, which would create preemie quilts and donate them to the charity Newborns in Need. With so many more 'glamorous' jobs available (P.E. Helper, Bus Dismissal, Teacher's Helper, Ambassador), I wondered if any students would even be interested in the quilter group.
I was so happy when three students applied...and one of them was a BOY!! I received an overwhelmingly-generous donation of fabric from the hilarious Kim , the illustrious Gran, and a lot of the nice people at Bearpaws and Hollyhocks. (Check out their cute laughing mice and the adorable puppies on the quilt backs. Thanks again, everyone!) The kids worked hard this year and created 3 preemie quilts, start to finish!
As the preemie quilts neared completion, the boy quilter happened to see a homeless man one day. He asked if we could make a quilt for that man, too! Oh my, he brought me to tears. OF COURSE we would make it.
(I left a preemie quilt in the pic for scale. Yes, that is a genuine, sewn-in wrinkle in the green stripe at the bottom. I've been known to sew in a pucker or two myself and I'm a LOT older. If you look closely, you can see that our dog, Deegan, approves.)

Donating to charity and improving kids' self-esteem in the's a GOOD thing!

No comments:

Post a Comment