The changing of the seasons felt so sudden here. One day, it was 85 degrees and we were practically sweltering, and the next, we saw our breath in the early morning. The leaves are changing colors and floating to the sidewalk below. And seemingly out of nowhere, pumpkins have given way to turkeys and glittery lights along rooftops.
In classrooms, there is talk of pilgrims and Native Americans – but it would be a gift if there were also talk of inequity and hunger. We see the bounty of fall produce in stores and farmer’s markets around us, but easily ignore the fact that many children in our schools are food insecure. And they are the lucky ones – they, at least, can be fed in schools. There are others – in parks, at bus stops, under bridges and on street corners, who aren’t as fortunate and are hungry every day.
Empowering students is one of the biggest privileges of being a teacher. The holiday season is an excellent time to capitalize on the sentiment of compassion and encourage students to consider the wellbeing of others.
The Peanut Butter and Jelly Project is a FREE cooking and community service activity for elementary students. It is a collaborative project in which students learn about the concept of hunger and are then given the opportunity to do something about it. They will work together to prepare, package, and label sandwiches for people who are hungry in their community. And with the help of just a couple of parent volunteers, sandwiches will be delivered around town to those who might benefit from a meal.
(It goes without saying that the lesson includes alternative ingredient suggestions for anyone with food allergies.)
In the comments below, please share any community service experience you have had with children – especially around hunger issues. We are always looking for new ideas! Thanks! xoxo M.
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