Tis the Season for Giving  

December 12, 2013
I must confess that I have been somewhat of a Scrooge this year. I am not sure if it is because of this bitterly cold weather or just the mere hustle and bustle of buying gifts, attending activities, etc. I have even resorted to listening to Christmas music at work to try and boost my spirits.

As an ESU 10 staff developer, I have been afforded many opportunities to visit school districts in our service area. I have witnessed first-hand the collaborative efforts of administrators and educators as they continually strive to provide a safe and educational environment for all students. I recently participated in a Learning Walk at one of our schools and was particularly touched by what the district has done for this holiday season.

In November, teachers made suggestions of families who might be in need during the Christmas holidays. Money for this project was raised throughout the year with a $1.00 Jeans Friday fund and with additional contributions from individuals in the building. A group of teachers ventured out to Christmas shop and purchased items for each family member. Totes were filled with items like toys, snacks, hats, mittens, scarves, fleece blankets, hooded sweatshirts, toothbrushes, etc. The principal plans to deliver the totes to the families on the last day of school before Christmas break. This year over $1,000 was donated and 6-10 families will receive totes filled with items to brighten their Christmas.

Many acts of kindness like this one can be witnessed throughout our schools during the Christmas season. It truly warms my heart to know that our educators genuinely care for their students outside of the classroom and see when there are people in need in their own communities. I wish I could be there to see all of the wide smiles and excitement as children tear into the generous gifts they have been given.

Christmas is truly about giving! Sometimes a small thing you do can mean everything in another person's life. I encourage others to find it in their hearts to brighten the life of one person or family this Christmas season. I know that I have transformed from having a Scrooge mentality to one of warmth and love for others.

I must get busy! There are lights to be hung, trees to decorate, gifts to buy and most of all gifts to be given to those who are in need. Thank you to the district mentioned above for helping me find my Christmas spirit! I commend you and all of our schools for the caring and supportive efforts you put forth to help students and families during the holidays and throughout the year! I love this quote from Tom Giaquinto, “We change the world a little each day with our kindness.” 

-Dallas Lewandowski
, Professional Development Coordinator