Earlier this year students in The Red Room class counted the pennies and other coins they brought to school each Friday and decided to use the money to buy toiletries for people in need. A specific dollar amount was distributed to each family, and parents were encouraged to take their child to purchase the toiletries which were subsequently donated to the Brookline Food Pantry. The children, along with their parents, sorted and stocked the various items before returning to school. The pride the children felt in “teaching “ their families the importance of participating in this worthy project and their understanding of what a profound impact their acts of kindness would have on the people at the food pantry was reflected through the smiles on their happy faces.
Another group in the school sponsored a walk-a-thon in which the proceeds went to “Seeds of Peace.” They so enjoyed walking the many laps and stopping at the water station that was set up for them but, most importantly, they loved experiencing the pride that comes from giving of oneself on behalf of others.
Most recently, FJECC parents organized a school-wide initiative to meet and entertain the residents at The Hebrew Senior Life Center in Brookline. The activities in which the students participated ranged from playing Bingo with the residents to making a collaborative drawing to beautifying the residential environment by planting bulbs and flowers in window boxes. The morning concluded with a sing-a-long. All of the students came away with a memorable experience that they will not soon forget.
The FJECC’s dedicated educators hope that by creating a curriculum that focuses on the important value of helping others through small acts of kindness within the classroom to mitzvah opportunities in the larger community, they can instill in their students the important lesson that helping others is important and good. By routinely exposing the students to ways that they can help others, the behaviors of the students will become second nature and they will hopefully use them to the benefit of others throughout their lives.