Learning About Service at Coburg Charter (part 2)

Two weeks ago you may have read about one of our Skill Days at Coburg Community Charter School. Little Hands Can spent every Friday in February teaching a group of Kindergarten through 2nd graders about kindness, friendship, gratitude, and giving service to those around us. Each day was special as the kids learned together about others.  

Today I want to tell you about another one of those special days: 

An NGO (ADECA) in Haiti asked Little Hands Can to make awards for their kindergarten graduates. We focused the class on talking about encouragement, celebration of other's achievements, and learning a little about Haiti

We began the class by having kids share acts of kindness that they noticed throughout the week. They each have a kindness journal where they keep track of kind deeds. Though not everyone had updated their journal, everyone was eager to talk about kind deeds they'd seen.

Then we asked students if they knew what it meant to "encourage" others. Hands shot up and kids gave great definitions, "It means that you tell someone 'good job' or 'you're working hard'!" All the kids agreed that they like to receive encouragement so we played "Pass the Hula Hoop" to help them practice encouraging each other. Here's how the game works: 

Stand up in circle and place hula-hoop over one student’s arm. Everyone joins hands. Move the hula-hoop all the way around the circle without letting go of anyone’s hand. As it’s going around, remind them that not everyone’s directly involved in getting the hula-hoop around the circle at all times but we can all encourage each other anytime.

We then told them about a special group of kids in Haiti that we were going to be encouraging. Since they won't meet these kids, we still wanted to give them a chance to learn a little about the people they would be serving.

Here are some of the things we did and what the kids said about it:

  • I got out a map and asked them to point to Haiti. Kids were eager to guess where Haiti is, but in the end, I needed to point it out to them.
  • We talked about how Haitians speak a different language. The kids had a fun time guessing which language. "Do they speak Haiti-an?"
  •  We read the book Running the Road to ABC written by a Haitian author about Haitian children in order to learn a little about their culture. "Why are they running to school" 
  • We looked at pictures of some kids at ADECA. "They all have darker skin than us"
  • We also watched a youtube video of Haitian children singing their National anthem. "Is that the same as our national anthem but just in a different language?"

The kids then made award medals and congratulatory cards and for the kindergarten graduates. I wrote a few words of encouragement in French on the board and the kids enjoyed copying them down onto their cards or awards. 

The kids ended the class by summarizing what they'd done with pictures on butcher paper which were later shown at an assembly to the whole school. It was a great opportunity for the kids to learn about the importance of encouragement and learn about another country's culture. 

Thank you to Coburg Community Charter for the fun opportunity to teach these sweet kids! On our last day, Coburg Charter gave us this sweet note: