Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Little #Edugood Can Go A Long Way

This year, there were two recipients of the inaugural Praespero grants for goodness, and I want to honor their efforts.

First, a little about the idea behind Praespero. "Praespero" is a Latin word that represents the idea of nourishing hope, of anticipating good things to come. It also represents a new program which awards grants to elementary students who want to do things for others. Simply stated, the program's goal is:

helping create the conditions for students to help others in their own way 

Our first recipient was a 4th grader whose goal was to create programs for her brothers' first grade classroom. A creative and caring student, she wanted to provide games for younger students, create activities like scavenger hunts and crafting for younger classes, and also raise money for a school in Nepal. Her project request for the grant was money to buy beads and supplies to "make bracelets or any jewelry from different cultures". She planned to teach first graders how to make them with her, then sell them during Cultural Night "so with the money we can help the poor in Nepal or somewhere else." 
Selling multicolored bracelets representing different
countries' flags. 

She said prior to starting her project: 
"this project is important to me because theres many people out there who need help."

Her reflection after the project was complete?
She enjoyed making the bracelets, and her favorite part was teaching the first graders how to make them. She sold them at the Cultural Night, as she had planned, but didn't make as much money as she had hoped. (She also learned a valuable lesson about many hands in the money pot.) :(

Instead of donating the small amount, she decided to reinvest in more jewelry making supplies to try it again. She figured out that rainbow looms are popular: "for sure the first graders loved it" (making rainbow loom bracelets). "Whenever I came into their class, they would whisper 'when are we going to do the bracelets?'" She said,
"I am really glad to be with them. They are little cheeruppers when I see them."
 They donated the money they raised from the new bracelets to help build a handicap ramp for one of our school's students. They kept it local, and it wasn't according to her original goal, but she learned about budgeting and planning. Most importantly, she continued to demonstrate her ability to pursue a vision to "help people who need it."
She also created a puppet theater for the younger kids, and
games with prizes to win--all from cardboard. This girl is
full of wonderful, thoughtful ideas.

Love people around you and have a kind heart. 
What more do you need?
We feel that she definitely made use of the opportunity to help others in her own way.

I'm sure you can think of your own students who love to pass along the goodness. How can we support our students' spirit and desires to help even more?

The next post will be about our second recipient of the Praespero mini-grant. Stay tuned.

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