So back when I taught in Ohio, my grade level developed "Caring through Sharing" in lieu of a crazy Valentine's Party. The concept was simple...instead of passing out chintzy Valentine's cards and getting hyped up on candy and running around the classroom...let's do something for the sick kids that are at the local Children's Hospital and are not healthy enough to have a Valentine's Party. We started by collecting small games and toys and it grew into making close to 200 fleece tie-blankets during the party. We were so proud of ourselves for making all of these blankets. We were quite astonished when we took them to the hospital and they graciously received them and said, "These are wonderful...they will last us about 2 weeks." What??? We had no idea that the need was this great! Talk about perspective!
Fast forward to now living in MN and teaching 4th grade. I now have an extended family member who is 9 months old...yes...9 MONTHS old and fighting liver cancer. She is very sick and worn down from the chemotherapy, but the tumor is shrinking and there is much hope for her future. Our 4th grade team has decided to take on "Caring through Sharing" for our Valentine's Day party this year! This is a new endeavor for our team, but everyone is in full support! We are going to raise money to purchase fleece, have some parents prepare the blankets by cutting them ahead of time, and then spend our "party time" by constructing these blankets and making Valentine's Day cards for sick kiddos! So far the support from parents has been very positive! We are also going to focus on making small sized blankets for sick kids like little Isabella who are just babies. I'm anxious to see how many blankets we are going to be able to make and donate to these precious little kids! It warms my heart just thinking about it!
Please consider doing something like this in your classroom or across your grade level...let's focus on helping others instead of cards and candy!