Thursday, January 28, 2010

My New Favorite Book

I found this to be an emotionally difficult week. There is a full moon looming and let's just say that without ever looking at the sky I know whenever we are close to this event happening... because seriously... it affects children! It ups their energy several notches. As the energy increases, listening and good behavior in general decreases! Plus they have no school tomorrow (I do) and we've had a week of indoor recess (yuck, yuck, yuck). So all combined, we're in need of creative outlets. And to take a breath. And chill out. And sit down in our seats. And just shut up for the love of god children!!!!

Dramatics aside (and there were many) a couple of pretty special things also happened. Our grade 3 classes put on a benefit lunch with money being donated to World Vision for their Haiti Relief Fund. We asked for a donation of $3 from students and more if they'd like. We were able to raise just under $500! The best part was that our local grocery store donated all of the food which enabled us to give every kid lunch, even those who didn't donate.

I have to say the effort was worth the reward. Asking for and collecting those grocery donations put me on an incredible high. I was overwhelmed by the generosity. I guess for them it probably wasn't a big deal, but for me it felt like what I had set out to do in the beginning, which was small in scope, had grown into so much more. Should I be surprised? No, that's the way life is ~ everything starts from seed and seeks to increase. It is like the universe finds joy in multiplying. For a time I sincerely felt moved by my own ability to change the world.

Another lovely occurrence was when a colleague passed me a book she thought I would enjoy reading to my kids. She said it fit nicely with our fundraising efforts. Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming takes place in Holland at the end of WWII. Katje, a young Dutch girl receives a box from an American girl named Rosie via the Children's Aid Society. The box contains a pair of socks, a bar of soap and a chocolate bar that Katje shares with her mother and the the postman. This begins a penpal friendship that results in a whole town collecting food and personal care items for Katje and her neighbors.

There were a number of time that my eyes brimmed with tears while reading this aloud. And the whole class sat completely motionless, absorbing the story. I've read a good share of children's literature, and I'm constantly amazed at the quality of this genre. This one I have to put at the top of the pile. Go to your library or bookstore and read it! If you know someone who survived the war, buy them a copy. For all the 8 and 9 year olds in your life, make this a part of the next gift you buy them and give yourself the pleasure of reading it to them. And then hug them really tight.

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