Our last December Community Project was something new that I had never heard of. It is called The Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive (http://clubs2.scholastic.com/programs/pjdrive.shtml). You sign up with Scholastic Books to be a collection site. The pajama’s are then donated to children in need. The ones we collected were given locally to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (https://www.facebook.com/dvipiowa?directed_target_id=0) in Iowa City. The children in their program are usually there due to domestic violence in the home and leave their homes with just the clothes on their back, due to needing to stay in protection, they can’t leave to return to their house to gather items so the Program get’s needed items for them.
To make this program even better, for every pair of pajamas that are donated, Scholastic Books donates a new book as well! Will all our families helps, we were able to collect 15 sets of pajamas.
Skills Learned from This Project:
-How to help those in need
-Counting skills (counted the pajama’s each day during the drive)
-Talked about bedtime routines
-Talked about the mail system (when we packaged them off and shipped them to the drop-off site)
NO KID HUNGRY
A few months ago, the child care partnered with No Kid Hungry (https://www.nokidhungry.org/). We agreed to support their cause. At first I was just going to do a change jar and match the amount of donations that came in, but we had already done a change drive before so I looked on the No Kid Hungry site a bit more and found that during the month of September (which is Hunger Awareness Month), there were local eating establishments that also support No Kid Hungry and contribute when you eat there during the month of September, so we decided to pick a day in September and dine out for lunch to support the cause. And quite a few of the parents were able to join us so it was great to get the extra support.
Skills Learned During This Project:
-Talked about what going hungry is
-Used decision making skills (what restaurant would we eat at, what would we have to eat)
-Graphing (we graphed what we were going to eat)
-Public skills (how we act when we are in a public place)
-Talked about healthy food choices
-Worked on patience and social skills (while at the lunch)
POP CAN DRIVE
I have volunteered for Young Parents Network (http://youngparentsnetwork.org/) for a few years. And each year they usually sponsor a team for the March of Dimes (http://www.marchofdimes.com/) walk. As a way to raise money for it, they collect can. Such an easy community project for my kids to do and one that doesn’t cost my families any money:)
*You can’t tell in these photos because the kids are standing in front of them but we actually had about 4 large garbage bags full of cans to donate (not just the pack the little girl in the front it holding)
Skills Learned from this Project:
-We did a nutrition unit (about how pop isn’t healthy for you or your teeth)
-Sorting skills (sorted cans by color and type)
-Counting skills (counted groups of can’s and total amount of can’s)
-Talked about why the babies needed our help
COLLECTING CHANGE FOR CHARITIES
The particular month that we collected change for a charity, we donated it towards the Maxwell Meiborg Foundation (http://www.maxwellmeiborgfund.com/). Maxwell Meiborg is a little child who had cancer a few years ago, his family set up a Foundation in his name to raise money to help sponsor events/organizations that support debilitating childhood diseases.
Each year they do a golf tournament as their big fundraiser. After all the change was counted, the child care matched the donation and we made enough money to sponsor a hole in the golf tournament.
Skills Learned with the Project:
-Learned about illness and how even the young can become ill
-Learned about ways to stay healthy
-Estimation skills (guess how many coins were in the jar before we took them out and counted)
-Learned about different coins (the appearance, the value, etc)
-Sorting skills (sorted coins)
-Counting skills (counted each group of coins)
WE GIVE BOOKS
I use We Give Books (http://www.wegivebooks.org) on a pretty consistent basis. It’s nice in the winter when we don’t go to the library as often, it gives us access to books that we don’t have in the daycare. Anytime that you read books on their site they donate to some cause, but one particular month they offered the “Read For My School Program”. You could go online and select a area school and for every book you read, We Give Books would donate books and Leaf Frog products to that school during the My School Campaign. So for the entire month we took time out of our day to try to read at least 5 books off their site.
Skills Learned From This Project:
-Learn new vocabulary
-New concepts and ideas (from books that were new to the kids)
-Communication skills (during discussion time at the end of the story)
-Learned about school libraries and how us reading helps them earn books
NURSING HOME VISITS
One of our very first Community Projects was visiting a nursing home. The nursing home that we visited hadn’t had children come visit before and they actually like the idea so much they had us come back a few times.
Skills Learned with this Project:
-Learned about diversity (generations, elderly, disabilities)
-Worked on communication skills
-Planning (we discussed things we could with our elderly friends and topics we could talk about with them)
Our First Nursing Home Visit…
Another visit we did and made Valentine crafts with some of the people that live there…