For many years I taught in a small Catholic school. Advent and Christmas were always special in my first grade classroom. Naturally, most of our focus was on the religious meaning of Christmas, lighting the Advent candles and talking about the coming of the baby Jesus.
We also focused on helping others. The children brought in hats and mittens for the homeless shelter. We gave books to our school library. We also remembered our Veterans. All through the year we visited the veterans at the local veteran’s hospital, taking homemade cookies and cards, singing and thanking them for their service to our country. We did special little things all through the year.
One Christmas we had the opportunity to make cards and little gifts for sailors on a nuclear submarine. My future son in law was serving on the USS Albany. We got the whole school involved in this project. He came to our school and, in a special school assembly, the children presented their cards and gifts to him. Our principal, the daughter of a retired naval officer, thanked him and his fellow submariners for their service. Following the assembly our Lieutenant came to my classroom and gave a Power Point show to the children with many pictures of the submarine. The children were thrilled. They had many questions, especially about the whales and dolphins encountered at sea. We later received a letter from the submarine’s Captain explaining how much the sailors enjoyed the treats and the cards. It was a great way to show the children that helping others can be fun.
[Note: I wish I could show the faces of the children with their excitement. Even though I am retired now, I cannot post my student's faces on the internet.]
Read my 16 December 2011 Post: Christmas at School