Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 52- Action for Healthy Kids and Positive Parents

Are you ready to play fast and loose trying to make connections to last year's gratitude?

During the Super Bowl last year, I looooooved a romantic Google commercial.  I like the slapstick comedy junk commercials as much as the next guy (unless the next guy is Tom... he REALLY loves those and sometimes laughs so hard he cries), but this Google commercial was warm and fuzzy and special, and I had to write about it.

I found all kinds of charity work that Google does, but I couldn't figure out how to donate to any of it.  Instead, I donated to a charity today that has kind of a connection to the Super Bowl.  It's called Action for Healthy Kids.

http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/

The NFL just so happens to be one of the main sponsors of many of their big programs.  The basic goal of the organization is to fight the national epidemics of childhood obesity and undernourishment.  As the site points out, these things are not cosmetic issues.  They are health, academic, and economic issues that can affect every aspect of a child's well-being.  The work they do is crucial to our nation's kids.  That's a cause close to my heart.



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My students had a big project due today.  I kept having to push the due date back because of all the snow days, and today we finally reached the big day.  I collected all kinds of beautifully done little masterpieces all day long, and I'll spend the next few days grading (and hopefully enjoying) all of these. 

Unfortunately, it seems as if with every assignment comes a group of kids with a missing assignment.  This concept is completely foreign to me, as I can't imagine ever not turning something in, especially without a good reason.  Sure, I procrastinated with the best of them and stayed up into the middle of the night many times before a project was due.  However, I always ended up producing something suitable, and I always handed something in.  Kids these days, eh?

I decided to contact the parents of all of the kids who had not turned in their work today.  This project is worth enough points that it is imperative that students get me something to grade.  If they didn't care enough to turn it in on time, I thought I'd need to go directly to the source to get things accomplished.  Parents.  Parents these days can be a little scary.  Just as kids aren't built just the way they used to be, parents are not either.  I think the one follows from the other, right?  This idea, coupled with my distaste for awkward phone conversations (or phone conversations in general), had me a little nervous about the task I set out for myself this afternoon. 

I have to say... I was pleasantly surprised.  I had a lot of conversations with parents who were warm and friendly.  Many of them thanked me for taking the time to let them know the kinds of things they couldn't get out of their kids at home.  They thanked me for informing them about the project and promised me tonight would be business time at home.  They chatted with me and listened to me and agreed with me.  They were, it seemed, actually on my side.  I had not expected this.  One dad even said at the end of our conversation, "Thanks so much for doing what you do."  I certainly had not expected that.

I'll see tomorrow whether or not my work paid off in... well... more work from the kids for me to grade.  I'll be glad to have it!  In any case, I had a lovely afternoon with lots of great conversations with parents.  I suppose it makes sense because we have one very important thing in common-- our desire to see these kids succeed and realize their potential.  What could be more important than that?

Thank you, positive parents, you made my day. 

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