Last week, Abby and Noah were invited to "Panda-mania" - aka Vacation Bible School - by one of Abby's best buddies. They loved it!!! Songs, crafts, games, "Chatter Chipmunk" theater, cupcakes...they had a great time.
I wasn't quite sure how Noah would do being that he has never gone to preschool, and the only time he's really been away from his mama is during Primary at church, but with a little bribery for letting go of Mommy (worked 4 out of 5 days) and "no strikes" during VBS, he did surprisingly well. (And I did too...for the most part.)
The "Panda-Mania" program was FREE - gotta love that! The only thing they encouraged was for the kids to donate gently-used or new backpacks for a school that the church sponsors in Haiti and if we could bring in change to help with other supplies and shipping costs.
Abby and Noah kept reminding me to give them coins and get a backpack to send in by Friday. Sure enough, by the end of the week, there had to be at least 100 backpacks all stacked up on the stage waiting to be sent off. Almost 200 kids also made beaded necklaces and collected a big bucket full of change - all for these school kids in Haiti.
In Fishful Thinking newsletter for June - Raising Socially Responsible Children - Dr. Karen Reivich explains that "Social responsibility is the commitment to bettering the good of a larger social unit—your community and the world—rather than oneself" and encourages families to sit down together and plan a SIMPLE summer service project where everyone (big or small) can pitch in and "Be the Change you wish to see in the world" (– Mahatma Gandhi). The kids at VBS definitely got a jump on that!
On our last faculty call, I was able to chat a bit with Dr. Reivich and the other faculty moms about the tornadoes that swept through our area and caused so much devastation. As mentioned in the newsletter, "In response to these tragedies, many families create opportunities to talk about the importance of helping others and working together as communities," and I have seen it first hand. So many amazing people and families have come together to help those recovering from these storms. As a family, we've been able to contribute as well and continue to keep those who have lost so much in our prayers.
On a lighter note, Dr. Reivich also points out that "there are plenty of non crisis-based opportunities to help our children learn that we, as a people, are in this together. For example, participating in Earth Day events, taking a 20-minute walk to pick up litter, helping a neighbor plant flowers, and inviting a new family over for dinner, all demonstrate to our children that we care about others and the world, and how we can put this caring into action."
There's a great worksheet right here that you can use to brainstorm ideas and come up with a service project that fits your family. I am interested to hear the kids' answers #4 and #5. I bet Abby's will have something to do with animals, the earth, or helping "poor people to get more money" ( - she always asks that in her prayers)...but Noah? You never know with that kiddo.
*If your family is interested in completing a simple service project along with mine, please leave a comment or email and let me know. I'd love to host a link-up near the end of summer where we can share our "Be the Change " experiences!
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