Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tis' the Season

My class and  I are reading Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.  It is the story of a Jeffrey "Maniac" Magee, a boy who becomes an orphan at the age of 3 and runs away from home at the age of 11 or 12.  The book deals with issues such as racism, segregation, poverty, and homelessness.  I have read this book with my class for the past five years or so, but this year I wanted to do something special to go along with the fantastic story.  Cue Scholastic Book Clubs and the non-profit organization Pajama Program, which donates new pjs and books to kids that are in need.  Scholastic has teamed up with the Pajama Program and will donate a book for every pair of pajamas that are registered through them.  I thought this would be a great community project for my kiddos and I to do this holiday season, because it fits in so well with Maniac and I think it is so important for our kids to realize just how lucky we are, and how we can and should always try to help each other.  We set our goal at 30, since I have 30 students in my class. I know that this time of year is hard on a lot of people; it is the holidays, after all, and as a school we already do fundraisers for the PTA and for organizations like Wreaths Across America, which raises money to place wreaths on veterans' graves to honor the sacrifices they made for our country.  Alli and I have taken part in that for the past three years, and it's really moving.
Alli and I at Wreaths Across America, three years ago
 (we made it into the paper!)

I mentioned the pajama drive that my class and I were doing during a staff meeting, and my wonderful fellow teachers jumped on the bandwagon and opened the drive up to their own classes.  It was because of this that we met and even exceeded our goal.  I am so lucky to work with such amazing people!  I'm also really lucky that I get to work at a school where the instinct of the families is to reach out and help each other, even when we can all use help ourselves.
Get involved with the Pajama Program here!

How cute is this little pajama recipient?!

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