Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 20 AmeriCares and The Giver

At this time last year, I was listening obsessively to Michael Buble.  Right around the same time, Haiti was also being rocked to its core by a terrible earthquake.  In response, Michael and a number of other artists lent their beautiful voices to a single to raise money for the relief efforts. 

It only makes sense, then, that my donation today will go to AmeriCares.  This organization delivers medical and disaster relief to people in crisis all over the world.  Here's just a small section of information from the website that gives and idea of what they do.

"In times of epic disaster, daily struggle or civil conflict, AmeriCares restores health and saves lives by delivering donated medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to people in need around the world and here at home.

The World Health Organization estimates one-third of the world’s population - nearly 2 billion people - lack access to essential medicines. In addition to a shortage of medicines, health care professionals in poor countries struggle daily with a lack of supplies such as gloves, syringes, gauze and bandages. That’s where AmeriCares comes in. Since our founding in 1982, AmeriCares has provided more than $10 billion of aid to 147 countries. To accomplish these results, AmeriCares assembles product donations from the private sector, determines the most urgent needs and solicits the funding to send the aid via airlift or ocean cargo to health and welfare professionals in the indigent locations. The model is time tested, cost effective and experience driven. Historically, for each $100 donated, AmeriCares delivers more than $3,500 in emergency relief and humanitarian aid, including medicines, medical supplies, clothing, blankets and nutritional supplements."

This one's for the people of Haiti who are still struggling to rebuild and regain their lives.  This one's also for you, Buble!

You can easily make donations through the website http://www.americares.org/
Donations can be designated specifically to the efforts in Haiti for this one year anniversary, or contributions can be made to the general fund, which helps people around the world and in our own country.

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I decided that while my kids are reading The Giver, we will compile a list of the rules in the novel that citizens have to follow.  Then, we will implement any of the rules that we can into our classroom community for the duration of the book.  Today was our first go at this.  We were able to use phrases directly from the book to try to create an accurate idea of what living in this society might be like.  Much to my delight, this has been a hit so far.  Here's why.  Anytime anyone was late today, talked out of turn, or committed any other type of transgression, the class followed this process.

Offender: I apologize for inconveniencing my learning community. I apologize to my classmates.


Whole Class (in unison): We accept your apology, .


Me: I accept your apology, .


Everyone: giggles, chuckles, snickers, laughter


Sure, there are a few kids who will probably try to get into trouble for this kind of attention.  I'm okay with that.  We went over the fact that all of the real classroom rules and consequences are still in effect.  Part of the system also parallels the novel in that three transgressions will get you "released."  In our case, that means the student will be moved over to an island of desks where he or she will have to sit alone for the rest of the day.  I hope that it continues to be this much fun and that the kids continue to enjoy the book and the experience as much as they have the past few days.  I'm having a really good time at work :).

Thank you, The Giver, you made my day.
 

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