OK, I have to admit that today is the first I have heard of #GivingTuesday. But I don’t feel too bad after reading that it is only in its second year. I like that the movement is such a universal one and that the message is to find a need and help meet it, no matter how big or small your contribution.
And so it’s a good day to highlight how the students and families at my school are helping others for the next two weeks.
The recent tornadoes in Illinois hit very close to home. People all over Central Illinois jumped in to help in countless ways. At school the Monday after the storms, a few of us talked about keeping our eyes and ears open for ways to help, especially since our school’s quarterly theme is kindness.
On Wednesday, 11/20, just three days after the tornadoes hit, the Illinois Reading Council spread the word that children’s books were being requested by the Tazwell County Regional Superintendent–for those students who lost everything when their homes were destroyed. I immediately contacted our student council sponsor, one of the best teachers (and people) I know, and we started putting a plan together.
On Thursday morning, the student council met and Drive 32 was born. Our book drive’s name honors the city of Washington, one of the most damaged and devastated communities, which is only 32 miles from our school. At our assembly the day before Thanksgiving Break, student council members presented Drive 32 to our student body, urging them to go home and find gently used books to donate or buy new books during their Black Friday shopping. An email was sent to all parents and guardians as well.
In two days, we have filled almost a whole full-sized book truck with books for children of all ages. Impressive donations have included almost the entire run of A Series of Unfortunate Events and new copies of Allegiant and The Mark of Athena. I know that many more books will come our way, as we are collecting through December 13th.
I am so proud of our students, who are looking beyond themselves at an age when it is often hard do so. And I am proud of our staff for working together to promote Drive 32 and teaching students something much more important than any standardized test could measure.
If you have been inspired to help on #GivingTuesday and are still looking for a way, please consider donating a book or two to help the children of Washington and Pekin.
Send books to:
Tazewell County Regional Office of Education
414 Court St #100,
Pekin, IL 61554