Last week, Ms. Grijalva challenged her 7th grade Service Learning students to look beyond the negative news that surrounds them and focus on the efforts that people are making for the common good. From staying home, to working on virtual art, to spreading words of encouragement on social media—people are sharing tremendous kindness and hope for the future.
First, Ms.Grijalva began her Service Learning assignment by having her students read this poem by Kitty O’Meara:
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
Although this poem was written in 1869, the words resonate more than ever with life today.
Ms.Grijalva urged her students to take the words of Kitty O’meara to heart and do something to create joy and hope for someone else. “Everyone has something to give, even if it is simply a kind word, a note of gratitude on the sidewalk, a song for the Internet, a laugh, a phone call, or a drawing hung in a window for passersby,” Ms.Grijalva said to her students.
The ways that 7th graders created and spread joy in their communities amazed our Bosque staffulty!
Jaxson ‘25 went to a retirement home near his house on Easter morning with drawings that his family created. Since residents are not allowed visitors during the pandemic, he and his family hung the drawings on their windows while waving and wishing the residents a happy Easter. “It was really special to see them smile and wave back,” said Jaxson.“ I think we helped them have a happy Easter even when their families could not visit them. Doing this made me feel really good and that I was doing something right in the world.”
“My mom and I put some personal hygiene supplies in a plastic bag,” said Ada ‘25. “These are called dignity bags. I wrote some nice letters and placed them in the bags. The bags included a comb, conditioner, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, chapstick, tissues, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a kind note that I made. My mom drove the four dignity bags over to a church and they gave them to people who are homeless.” She added, “This experience made me realize that even though I am stuck at home, there are still so many things I can do that can impact other people’s lives.”
Isabel ‘25 learned that people have been putting stuffed animals in their yards and windows for kids to see as they walk by. “The reason people are doing this is to help kids have fun, so that they don't feel the need to go to the park because the play equipment is closed during the quarantine,” said Isabel. “I knew I should put one out, so I did.” She even put a solar light outside so the giant dog stuffed animal sitting on her fence would be illuminated on evening walks.
These are other acts of kindness from our Bosque 7th graders: Madeline made four masks for her family members, including one for her sister who is an “essential” retail worker. Mix put out a bowl full of dog treats saying “take one” for his dog-walking neighbors. Lily put signs up outside of her house with kind words for her neighbors. Isabella painted rocks and wrote notes for her neighbors, hoping that they may bring them “at least the slightest bit of happiness” in these hard times. Claire wrote cards for everyone on her street. Michael made posters to put up in his windows. Mason also made signs to hang on his balcony for his neighbors to see and put teddy bears next to them. Stella read to her younger cousins over a video call. Lily wrote a thoughtful letter to her grandma who lives alone and is not able to see her family because of social distancing. Ma’ayan painted signs that say “Stay safe, Stay well, Stay home” and placed them outside so that people driving by could see them. Sophie decided to make a cheesecake for her mom’s birthday, and Ella also decided to bake cookies for her family and neighbors. Mattie created a small thank you note to put inside his family’s mailbox, so that the mail carrier would see it the next time they delivered the mail.
7th graders did so much good last week and brought joy to many people in this time of uncertainty. We are proud of them for representing Bosque School so well in our community during this time.