You’ve got your boxes and bins ready. You’ve made flyers, email blasts, and social media announcements. The charity has been chosen and informed. Now the giving begins!
Every year around this time, thousands of schools participate in some kind of drive. Canned foods, shoes, hats and scarves, pennies, etc… are all brought in to the school and dropped off. Many organizations benefit so much from these drives and sincerely appreciate the help. Once the drive is over, though, what are the lasting effects to our students?
Social and emotional skills are some of the most sought-after by employers. Schools are starting to make an effort to introduce students to these skills and improve on them to create better, well rounded people. The holiday season is the perfect time to show students examples of these traits and how to improve on them. Here are some tips:
- As you are setting up your drives, discuss with students the importance of helping others. Teach them why we should help others, what compassion is, and how helping makes both them and others feel good. (Harper is a great example!)
- Discuss how helping people in their community and other communities in need creates positive changes. Explore the idea that students can take part in acts that not only better themselves but the world around them. Teach them positive changes can be chain reactions. (Paco can help with this!)
- Build students’ leadership skills by helping them see how their part in these efforts makes them a role model, someone who makes good choices, someone who cares about the feelings and needs of others and someone who puts their needs aside for someone whose needs are more critical. (Lamar teaches leadership!)
- Make your holiday drive or event both helpful to the recipients but also meaningful for your students. Each day remind them why they are doing this, who they are helping, why it’s important. Give them the language of the skills they are learning: compassion, empathy, citizenship, leadership, acceptance, altruism etc.
- When the drive/event is complete, have group/class discussions about the end result. What did they accomplish together as a team? Who did they help? In what ways did they help others and make positive change? What could they do to continue to help moving forward? (Discuss being “In the House”)
The common language that TEAMology provides gives a great starting point for these conversations. Bring the characters into the activities or have the students point out which characters go with the topic!