Children should absolutely learn about the tough social issues because you’re never too young to be part of the solution. In our class we are discussing homelessness and poverty.
We’ve explored the conditions and empathized and busted a lot of the myths of homelessness that even some adults still believe! As part of our studies, we’re making homemade place mats to decorate the dining room at Raleigh Rescue Mission, learning that even from our classroom we can help people who need a little boost.
While I was afraid some of my students would be judgmental, they’ve all been the opposite — opening their hearts and wishing they could do even *more* than just offer heartfelt decorations.
One girl cemented my faith in humanity’s future today when out of the blue she wrote this letter to give to the people living at Raleigh Rescue Mission:
My students are beginning to understand the complex issues of poverty and homelessness, and in our classroom I’ve given them the power to help — if even in some small way. And they already crave more ways to help, help, HELP. So this is a call out to teachers and parents: Educate your kids on social issues, GIVE them the power to help make a difference, and when they grow up we’ll have a generation of people who know exactly how to change the world and will not be afraid to try!
Oh yeah, and the kind people at Raleigh Rescue Mission responded to my request for some words of wisdom, from the clients for the students, so my classroom could get a sense of truly being connected to the people they were learning about and helping.
When asked, the clients at the Raleigh Rescue Mission responded to my students with some heartfelt and wise advice, straight from life experience:
- Stay in school
- Be a leader, not a follower
- Don’t do drugs
- Be yourself (meaning not trying to fit in & get involved with the wrong people)
- Love your neighbor
- Be good to one another
That’s right. We can all learn from each other and help each other. That’s the biggest lesson of all. Class dismissed.