Last Friday we gathered as a community to create over 1,000 items for local non-profit organizations. It felt great to work together and accomplish so much in a single night, but service at Prairie Creek did not begin with the evening nor will it end there. I feel so lucky to work among children who have learned to look for ways to make the world a better place.
They have learned about service at school. From kindergarten on, students see themselves as agents of change. When they are concerned about something, they learn to speak and they are listened to - whether it's concerns about how toads are being treated at recess or wanting to learn more about girls' access to education. Our older students (and they're all older than someone, except for the kindergarteners) know to look out for the younger students. I can't count the times in the hall when I've seen an older student kneel down, greet a younger child warmly and then carefully shepherd the child to class. A tumbled container of markers brings a chorus of "I'll helps" instead of the snickers of mockery.
They have learned about service at home. Prairie Creek parents live the way they want their children to live. They volunteer. They give. They talk to their children about what matters to them. Family Service Night was an celebration of shared service, of "Doing Good Together" (which is the apt name for the organization who originated the idea.)
Kids don't learn to care overnight. They don't learn it through a curriculum of posters that tell them to be nice to each other. They learn to care by seeing it all of the time. They learn it by practicing small acts and large. They learn by speaking and being listened to. They learn by hearing stories of others who have served before them. They learn by experiencing the world as something that is changing and can be changed.
Thank you for being a part of that work.