September 3, 2013

R.A.K.: Adopt a Compassion Child

During my first few years of teaching, I read a book by Ron Clark called The Essential 55. Besides being an extremely entertaining story, Ron talks about 55 'life rules' that he imparted to his students each year. 

The one rule that really stood out to me was Rule 11: "Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness. Go out of your way to do something surprisingly kind and generous for someone at least once a month. " My students and I decided that we would brainstorm and do a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) each month at our school and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable parts of our year. While not technically *random,* these act were a great way to teach my students the value of being kind to others.

Want to join the club? Each month, we are going to highlight a different RAK that you can do with your class. You can choose to do this or any RAK of your choosing. Don't forget to come back and share with us how it went! 

This month's RAK:

Adopt a Compassion Child

The child below has been waiting more than 6 months for someone to choose them. Could you be the one to end their wait today?

If you don't mind, I'd like to take a few minutes to share something that I am passionate about:

My husband and I sponsored two little boys a few years ago, Kevin and Javier, and it has been such a joy to be a part of their lives. We discovered these two cuties when we checked Compassion's list of kids who had been waiting for more than a year to have a sponsor choose them. (A year!) They were at the top of the list and we jumped at the chance to introduce our family to them. Javier lost his mom at the beginning of this year to cancer. Before she died, she wrote a note to me to let me know how grateful she was that her son had us in his life. When our daughter was born, she received hand-drawn cards from each of the boys, one of which was covered in Strawberry Shortcake stickers because he "thought the baby would like such pretty pictures." 

We receive pictures, letters and community updates every one to two months. Each child in the Compassion program is assigned one sponsor. You get to forge a special connection with them and watch them grow up. It's quite an honor. 

But wait! What does this have to do with my class' Random Act of Kindness Club?

Wouldn't it be great if your Compassion child not only got letters and drawings from you, but also from your students? This could be a great way to practice letter-writing skills and build character at the same time and would make a fun RAK this month. 

Other ideas for connecting your class to your Compassion child:
  • You could show your students where your child lives and do a mini-project on their country.
  • You could take pictures (with parent permission, of course) and send them to your child. 
  • You could learn about your child's country and have a board in the classroom with information about it displayed. 
  • You could have students write stories about what they would do if they visited your child or an 'adventure' that they imagine going on with him or her.
  • You could celebrate your child's birthday with a special snack or game time. 
I know this is not your normal RAK idea, but I believe so strongly that we are meant to bless others with our resources and that is ultimately the idea behind the RAK Club. Compassion is a great way for your class- or even just your family- to do just that.

Discover more fun, character-building RAK Club ideas.

It's your turn now! Go brainstorm a RAK with your class or use the one found here. Then come back and tell us how it went! 

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