Tis the Season of Giving: Encourage Your Students to Pay It Forward

Christmas is one of my absolute favorite times of the year!  Just the sight of anything red and green gets my happy juices flowing through my veins.  One of the things that I love most about this holiday season is the kindness that we show to one another- just because.  A little, “Merry Christmas” here and a lot of jolliness there, adds a sense of comfort that makes you feel that all is well in the world.

This time of the year can offer really valuable life-long lessons to your students.  Each year, my school sets up a large Christmas tree in the foyer.  Upon the tree are tags that post an assigned number for students that are in need.  These students are actually students of our school, and anyone is welcome to select the tag.  Typically, willing parties would select a student/family and purchase items from a pre-made list of needs that the parent/guardian of the student provides.  This year, our school made a request for gift cards in the amount of $25.00 to be purchased.  A call when out to encourage teachers to consider purchasing a gift card.  I began thinking about this and thought that it would actually be nice to ask my students to each contribute $1.00 towards the purchase of a “class gift card”.  Any participation would be completely voluntary and confidential.  I am hoping that they will be able to make a connection about how important it is to help others and to give of yourself in some way (time, support, talent, etc…).  Plus, two of their classmates are featured on that tree.

So, the inspiration for #PayItForward came to me on Saturday while I was watching Periscope.  This past Saturday, December 5th, was #Perigiving Saturday where a hosts of individuals, entrepreneurs, and larger businesses were coming together to make contributions and/or to raise money for others that are in need.  There was a word and definition game that was being offered to help raise money for schools in need, and another Scope was discussing the SNAP program and food banks.  I was moved to hop on to Periscope via video and to share the activities that would be taking place in my classroom to help promote the spirit of giving.  I challenged other Teacher Scopers to think of a plan for their students and to come back on Periscope to share what involvements they would lead their students to do.

I am extending this challenge to each of you!  What can you do to promote the spirit of giving and the awareness of the needs and circumstances of others to your students.  Watch my Periscope for a full explanation of what activities my students have been called to action to do, and for a list of ideas that you can do with your students.  Click here to watch the video.  Many of my ideas were for little to no cost to you.  I hope that you will join me.  If you do, please leave me a comment to let me know how you will inspire your students during this season of kindness and reflection.

Happy Holidays!


5 Responses

  1. Teaching children about social justice and providing them with opportunities to take action is amazing! I am a huge believer in incorporating social justice topics into all subject areas, beginning in Kindergarten. Although my little one at home is only 13 months, I began his pay it forward' experience at the age of 9 months went shopping for back to school supplies for those in need. It is never too young to encourage children to think beyond themselves.

  2. This is such an important topic, and all to often looked over. It's so great that you took a break from red and green holiday activities to talk about the real world, and how each of us can make a difference.

  3. Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is an important topic and one that our students should know more about. We do all have the power to change someone's life with simple acts. : ) Wonderful to hear from you!


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Hi, I'm Tania!

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