On December 3rd, Louis Braille School teacher Beckie taught the children about Kwanzaa, a celebration of African heritage that is observed each year from December 26th to January 1st. Kwanzaa is one of several holidays the students are studying.
Kwanzaa embraces seven principles, including one called Ujima (oo-GEE-mah), defined as:
Collective Work and Responsibility, meant to remind us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we have a role to play in the community, society, and world.
As a discussion of Ujima grew, the students were asked to think of people in our community facing hardship and what they might need.
The talk quickly came around to food. Everyone responded enthusiastically to a suggestion that students and teachers obtain permission to stand in front of a nearby supermarket and collect from shoppers donations to be given to the local food bank.
“I think it’s wonderful we’re going to sit at a table and pass out our flyers to people and have a box for them to put food in,” said one boy.
“We’re going to the food bank!” said another, after everyone decided we will take the collected non-perishable food items directly to the place where food is distributed.
Part of the mission of the Louis Braille School is to teach our students “to use one’s education and talents in the services of others.” Soliciting donations for the food bank is an exemplary way of fulfilling that mission.
“The students are learning that they are part of the community and how they can contribute to others,” said one teacher. Another said she was looking forward to seeing the faces of the students as they hand out flyers and take in donations. “They have such good hearts,” she said.
Teacher Beckie said, “We want to help people in our community because so many people in the community help us.”
Students will collect food donations at the Westgate QFC market on Edmonds Way in Edmonds from about 1:45 to 2:30 on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, December 9th and 11th.
Look for pictures and a report on the results of their efforts soon after December 11th.