Monday, August 30, 2010

LIGHTING THE WAY WITH WORDS AND VOLUNTEERS



Do you yearn to help in some way?  Maybe you volunteer your time at your child's school, at a shelter, or even cleaning stalls at the local horse farm.  Coming together as a community builds pride and strength. It provides a model for us to share with our own children and students.  We often find our communities and country pull together when they need it the most. We can remember September 11th being one of those times.


Mr. Chris and I recently attended a press conference via the web about the 9/11 National Day of Service describing opportunities where individuals across the country can come together in the spirit of unity to volunteer or contribute to a non-profit organization.  We learned about many the resources and opportunities  that are going to be available to not only volunteer, but to help teach about this historical day.  The ways to contribute and learn are plentiful.


1.  Visit the 9/11 National Day of Service website.  On this website, users can search a database of every non-profit organization based on keywords such as homelessness, animal shelters, or education.  You are able to choose what interests you. Once you pick an organization you would like to support, click the "SUPPORT" button.  They will give you a list of ways to support their organization.  Each time you support an organization or share a story about a good deed, you earn Karma Points. Karma points are just that, points. However, they could be used as an intra-school competition to see which classroom can do the most good deeds and gather the most Karma points. You could also keep track within your household as well. Be creative with them to promote positive growth!


2.  Lesson plans are available for teachers to download on the site related to service learning and 9/11.  The format of the website allows you to read a 2-3 paragraph description describing the lesson. This way, you can see if it is something that interests you before downloading it. The lessons are available in .PDF format and include extension activities. You can also find a bunch of helpful links with resources about 9/11 as well as free, downloadable project toolkits. The toolkits contain pictures, timelines, and more materials beyond the text-based format of the lesson plan.


3. You can sign up with Scholastic!  If you go to http://scholastic.com/mygooddeed, you can sign up to receive new lesson plans to help students reflect on 9/11 in a constructive way.  Many of the materials you will receive were developed by educators and Scholastic reports that over 3,500 educators have already signed up to receive the materials. When I searched 9/11 on the Scholastic site, it revealed over 200 resources. They really seem to provide a wide variety of materials to meet the varied needs of individual classrooms.


We hope to see you on the website! We would love to hear about your good deeds or creative ways that you use the Karma points!  Send your ideas and ways you gave your support to nightlightstories@gmail.com or post them on the Facebook Fan Page!


As always, we look forward to the many opportunities we can share together!


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