Merry Christmas Eve! It’s a busy time here as we get closer to the end of 2016! And since I actually had school (work) this week, I thought I’d share a couple of interesting projects that helped spread some holiday cheer!
In the school district where I work, we have a project each year called Festivus! Some of you might think of the Seinfeld Festivus episode, but for everyone else – here is a description of Festivus from Wikipedia:
Festivus is both a parody and a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 that serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season. It has been described as “the perfect secular theme for an all-inclusive December gathering”.
Festivus in our school is a project that gives every student in the district (over 3,000 of them) a chance to choose a small “gift” to give to a family member or friend – for free! All gift items are donated by faculty, staff, and parents in the district and volunteers even help the youngest students wrap their gifts.
When I looked at that description, it made me smile that all of the items are donated. This helps students to avoid some of the commercialism of the Christmas season!
And in terms of “all-inclusive” – this is a project for ALL students, not those who just may struggle to buy a gift for someone. The kids are always incredibly excited about “shopping” for something special to bring someone at home for the holidays!
The Rockstar Community Fund
This month I was lucky enough to be a part of an awesome project – the Rockstar Community Fund (RCF)! If you haven’t checked out the new Rockstar Finance forums, there are some great conversations going on there! I’m looking forward to the new projects that they come up with to help people each month!
Here’s a description of the project for this month and what I did to spend one of the fifty $20 RCF gift cards that were given out…
Every month Rockstar Finance wants to provide a way for each of us to go out and do some good in the world. We’ve dubbed this project the Rockstar Community Fund, and this month we’ll be harnessing the spirit of the holiday season: We want you to give someone an unexpected gift.
I had a bunch of ideas of who to give it too – but I finally had my “aha” moment about who to surprise with an unexpected gift. I was able to give my gift card to a colleague this week!
I work in a Primary School with over 750 kids. Most kids come to school each day to learn, laugh, and play. Some kids struggle with learning and get help from our amazing teachers and support staff. Other kids come to school and struggle with behaviors. These are the kids who many parents want their kids separated from – those kids in the “special” class.
Well the woman I picked to receive the gift has chosen to work with this group of kids every year. And that takes a very special person. She is not a teacher and doesn’t get the salary of a teacher. She is a paraprofessional. And in our district, paraprofessionals start around $10 an hour. She has been here for many years, so I know she makes more than that now – but she never asks for anything. She comes to work with patience and kindness each day and she will do anything she needs to do to help her students learn and make safe choices.
When she came in today, I was able to chat with her for a minute and give her the gift card. She smiled, thanked me, hugged me and cried. There are a lot of amazing people who work in schools. I feel thankful that I know this person and I appreciate all she does for some of our most challenging and wonderful little ones.
Speaking of wonderful little ones – there are 20 or 30 of these huge snow balls outside on the playground at school! It’s too funny to watch the kids outside playing in the snow. I’ve asked them what they were doing before and most say building snowmen!
I’ve never asked them what happened to the rest of the snowman because they really don’t seem to mind that they never finish one! They start rolling snow and keep rolling it until they can’t go any farther. Then they start rolling another ball to put on top – and they can’t lift it up because they get too big! So then they start another one…and another… and that’s how we end up with a whole field full of giant snowballs!
Without good planning, things can fall apart… or not! You can just keep on rolling along and build up that solid foundation of whatever you are working on!
Have you ever heard of or celebrated Festivus? And have you checked out the Rockstar Finance Forums? Take the lead from little kids and get out there and have some fun this week!
We’ll be heading south to visit family and spend a little time at our condo near Siesta Key, Florida! I wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season!