My first grade class was learning about communities and community workers for the month of December. I decided to expand this unit to learning about communities around the world to show how the lives of children their age are in other countries. I introduced the Bite Back! campaign from Compassion on December 1st. We watched a short clip about malaria and what these children face each day. I sent a letter home to parents explaining that we were collecting coins to raise money for children in malaria infected areas. Because of tax purposes (and being in a public school setting), it was restricted to coin money only. However, I did leave it open for parents to contact me if they wished to make their own donation and receive a tax receipt for it.
We had from December 1st through December 22 to bring in as many coins as we could. The school I work at is the poorest in the district with a little over 70% of it’s population receiving free or reduced lunch. I wanted to be sensitive and realistic about this mini-service project, so we set a goal to raise $10 in coins to provide 1 insecticide treated net.
The kids were so excited and shared with their families that they wanted to empty their piggy banks to bring into school. It was so moving and fun to see how these 6 and 7 year olds were sharing with the other teachers at school about how malaria spreads, and about the different countries/continents around the world are affected. I brought in the sample bed-net that was provided with the presentation kit that Compassion provided. The learning from this service project was incredible!
At the end of the month, my class raised $44.04! I pitched in the remaining $5.96 (towards our class piggy bank) to make an even $50. They were so proud to help raise money for 5 insecticide treated nets! Many students asked how long we would be collecting money. When I told them it was only for the month of December, the entire class voted that we continue to raise money for the rest of the school year. God bless their little hearts! I made a making a month by month chart that showed how much money we were raising for Bite Back! I was so happy to do more with this project in a public school setting. At the end of the school year, we brought in a total of $110 for Bite Back! It would have been more, but we had a few other organizations were raised money for such as Pennies for Patients and Ronald McDonald House. Nonetheless, I cannot tell you how proud I am of my class. This shows that you can be an advocate for poverty at any age! You can also help by going to www.biteback.net and then click on donation.