At 10:00 on Thursday November 7, Tina and I will begin a new Enrichment Class called Operation Outreach. Our goal is to get the kids excited about serving others and put into action ideas that they come up with themselves.
We will spend the first week making some ornaments to share in our community. We will also be making Christmas cards to send to men and women who are serving our country in the military overseas.
During week two, students will be packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. OCC sends shoebox gifts to children all over the world for Christmas. Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have received gifts through this program. This is something we have been doing since 2008. Our home school assistance program has provided somewhere around 40 shoebox gifts over the past years. That translates to 40 children who may have received their first Christmas gift because of the love of Atlantic homeschoolers.
Week three we are going to put the students to work brainstorming ideas to reach out to our community. People take more ownership in something that they plan and are invested in. We want the kids to take some ownership and do something for our community. We have no idea where this will lead, but we are excited to see what the kids come up with. We will spend the first two Thursdays in December (weeks 4 & 5 of the class) carrying out whatever plan the students come up with.
There are so many good reasons for being involved in this type of project. This morning I was reading some research done at the University of Michigan, and the benefits range from psychological to social to cognitive. Most of all though, I think this type of projects molds our hearts. We all come to this world with a great big ME problem. We are by nature self-centered, greedy and prideful. Doing this type of project gets my eyes off of me and onto something bigger. It helps me to see that I live in community with others. When I am helping others, I am also helping myself.
With this in mind, and the upcoming holiday season, I have started a couple of new boards on Pinterest. One has service ideas and the other has holiday ideas. Feel free to use these resources in your family to bring more meaning to this time of year.
And finally, let me just invite you to bring your kids to Operation Outreach. We start this Thursday at 10:00. All I ask is that you let Tina or I know you are coming so that we have enough supplies for everyone!