A few weeks ago, Kindergarteners were talking about the things that were most important to them, and the things they had the power to change.
This week, they are preparing to take action, by helping local social service agencies purchase mittens and other warm clothing for those who need it the most.
Here’s the plan:
On Monday, classes will begin popping and bagging enough popcorn to give everyone at school their own bag. They’ve already started the necessary math.
On Tuesday, Kindergarten classes will visit every lunch period to ask every student and teacher to bring in twenty-five cents the following day. This will require talking to older students, including some they may not know.
On Wednesday, they will distribute popcorn at lunch time, and request donations. It’s like a sale, but everybody gets one bag, whether they donate or not.
This is the latest iteration of an annual event, now in its thirteenth year. The Gordon blog archives include video from 2016, a photo essay from 2003,
and the Kindergarten Green Group of 2006 singing the original song “That’s How Popcorn Keeps Out the Cold.”
A Kindergarten teacher explains: "This project is part of a yearlong exploration of what it means to show care for ourselves and for our communities. The reason we donate mittens is because kindergarteners understand that all children have the right to have mittens. Children forget mittens on a daily basis, and the children always work together to find an extra pair for their friends. We are taking this a step further, to those they do not know."
The lesson would warm the heart of Fran Bidwell, the former Gordon Kindergarten teacher who passed away last week.
Her obituary noted her passion for public service alongside her work at Gordon, and attributed that passion to her exposure to the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery and Selma, Alabama, two cities that Gordon’s eighth graders visit on their annual Civil Rights Trip.