March 24, 2017 | 26th of Adar, 5777
Innovation Born From Kindness
What does innovation look like in junior kindergarten? It looks like young children solving problems while focusing on our core value: kindness.
At the beginning of the school year, our class read a book called, "We Are All Alike, We Are All Different." It was followed by an amazing discussion about how different people live and what different people and families have or might need. My students decided that if families did not have things that they needed, we could help. At this moment our innovation mindset was ignited by the power of kindness.
We decided we could collect items people might need. But where would we keep all of the things we collect? We went down the hall to our "big idea room,” also known as the ideation studio. We planned and designed a big box that would hold whatever we chose to collect. How would we build it? We could ask Adon King for help. And, we did. With a lot of guidance from Adon King, we made a collection box in our makerspace.
Every two months, our class chooses an item or items to collect. We have collected socks, personal hygiene items, hats, scarves and mittens, blankets and more. We've donated these to various local organizations that needed our help. Last month we chose children's clothes. Together, we collected 18 huge bags of gently used children's clothes. I reached out to Sojourner Family Peace Center, which helps families impacted by domestic violence. Our young students understood, on their developmental level, that this is a place where families come if they need help. This week, a representative from the center came to our school to speak with us and collect our donations. We were thrilled to meet someone who worked at one of the places we donate to making a personal connection. Together, we brought the 18 bags out to her car, and with a lot cooperation, loaded her car to the top. She was so happy and thankful to receive our collection.
We are extremely proud of our kindness and our ability to solve problems that need to be fixed. We know that we are playing our part in tikkun olam (repairing the world).
It's junior kindergarten innovation at its best!
~ Gev. Wolfe