My kids go to a very VERY small rural school where we live. So small that they don't even do individual grades in their own classrooms. They combine grades in one room. Yes, they still teach separate grade levels, but the kids are with one teacher. For example, 1st & 2nd grade share a room, 3rd & 4th, 5th & 6th and then 7th and 8th are made to go from room to room for their classes to prepare them for high school.
The kids grow up with a closer bond with the kids their age and end up more like brothers and sisters than just classmates. Plus.... it's fun for us parents who can visit the school anytime we want with any goal in mind (within reason.... geez).
I had an idea in mind as I spoke to an online friend who will be returning to Haiti in April. I am sending a care package and letter to my sponsored child and her family. Then I thought..... wouldn't it be cool for Smeralda to know kids her own age and what they do in America?!
So, I went to school and ask Ms. Murphy, the 1st and 2nd grade teacher, if she would like a project for her kids. I explained about Smeralda and thought the kids would like to draw her pictures to send in my package. Of course Smeralda can't read or really speak English well yet. But don't you think the universal language of sunshine, stick people and pretty flowers is pretty easy to understand?
I showed the class pictures from our trip to Haiti that included Smeralda's house, her school and some of her family, as well as the pictures where we got to meet her for the first time and give her a gift of a simple backpack with supplies. I showed them her most recent photo to me:
They bombarded me with questions! It was so much fun to see them eager to learn about a little girl they had never met.
Does she speak English?
Did you bring her to America with you?
Did she survive the earthquake?
Was she safe from the earthquake?
Can she visit you?
Even more interesting were their general observations and statements from the photos.
She lives in 'that'!?! That looks like a shed that's broken.
That's where she goes to school?!
They like to go to school?
She doesn't ride a bicycle?
But the best part was how excited they became at the thought of sending something to her. Drawing their own artwork and conveying their feelings for her on paper. This is what they gave me:
Brown stick people. :) My favorite
Every picture conveyed a new friendship.
New friends that Smeralda has in America.
Today is Thankful Thursday, and I'm thankful that we live in a modern world where little kids can see and experience little people in other countries through sponsorships, internet and smart boards.