Happy Friday! Congratulations to those of you who finished school this week. Welcome to summer vacation! It sure feels good.
Have you ever heard of Operation Smile. It's an organization that provides free surgeries to children with facial defects such as cleft palate. Through this charity they send volunteer medical staff to perform and assist with these types of surgeries as well as to train local doctors in some of the poorest countries in the world. In 30 years they've been able to perform over 200,000 procedures. Their website also has teacher resources including a Final Mile Curriculum that I'm seriously considering using in my classroom next year.
Let me back up a minute. In general, my students are ones who need a lot. They benefit from local organizations that donate backpacks, Toys for Tots, and other such things. I thought it would be nice to do something philanthropic and give them a chance to see that they can also donate and help others. My thought right now is to organize a penny drive in my classroom, maybe school wide too, and try to raise some money for this great organization and encourage my students to be civic-minded as well. I wonder how much money they could raise??
Back to Final Mile. I've looked through this curriculum and it looks very educational and fun. The Final Mile is a marathon held every year in Virginia to raise money for Operation Smile. The Final Mile program encourages physical fitness by incorporating a class goal of running 25.2 miles (a little each week) and finishing the last mile on the day of the marathon. Doesn't that sounds fun? I know my kiddos could really get into this! And I could use the encouragement to exercise too!
So to get started, I made some writing stationery to encourage my kiddos to write about what makes them smile. It's here as a freebie if you'd like to use it. Just click on the picture below.
Have you ever done a penny drive or other philanthropic fundraising like this with your class? It is my first time so if you have any advice I'd love to hear it!
There are several organizations that have partnered with Operation Smile to raise money for this important work. One is a company called Campus Book Rentals (www.campusbookrentals.com) that allows students to Rent Back (www.rentback.com) their college textbooks and make some money off those extremely expensive books. I would have rented my $150 zoology textbook if I could have! It may help your college bound son or daughter get a little more money back then they'd get selling the book back to the campus bookstore.