Our school signed up to be a part of TOMS Campus Programs in October 2012. I will admit, I didn't know what on earth I was doing after that, however I am starting to get a clearer focus now. Thank you everyone for posting updates on what you are currently doing. It helps me to see where the chapter was designed to go.
I teach for Buffalo Prairie Middle School, in Buffalo, Missouri. I was hired on to teach for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (after school) Grant. I have a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, however with young kids at home, I didn't want to commit to full time teaching just yet...so this grant has been perfect!
Twenty hours a week I have the opportunity to work with extremely wonderful students. Buffalo is a small rural town, just guessing I would say 2,500 people reside. The school district however, represents the entire county. Dallas County School district serves many students who come from rough homes, financially speaking.
This economy has hit even the wealthiest of course, but for those already searching and scraping, times are for sure hard in Dallas County. Yet, somehow, those who live in poverty still open up to help others. I have read countless books that speak about poor villages in third world countries, which still offer anything and everything they have to help others. When guests visit, we read and hear about how hospitable people are, even with very little themselves; I just love this part of who we are. In the community I work in, people may have little, but their hearts are far from small.
For the grant, I teach two classes at the middle school. One is titled “Super Servers”. Each week, we tackle ways to reach out to the community, to serve with a larger purpose, to bring relief or joy to others. We have helped out at the local food pantry, read to elementary students, done things for the local nursing homes, held food drives, and so much more. We are elated to now raise awareness for TOMS, and the need for shoes and vision to others. The wildest thing to consider is how a community with so much need itself, can somehow find any energy in themselves to help another...but they do, and they will! My students meet weekly and are anxious to help our community in any way they can.
So I have been pondering, how I can motivate my students to celebrate in April, for the Day Without Shoes event? How can I get them, and the community, excited about going barefoot so others don't have to; perhaps it is all about unity. One idea I have is to get my students to work weeks before the day, creating molds out of clay, in the shape of a foot! I am crazy about the style your sole concept, and wanted the community to be able to do so.
I have a few other ideas for the event and am excited to see all of your ideas as well.
I love teaching the leaders of tomorrow!
By: Ruth Harris