how to spell help:

I can say with some irritation it’s been a while since I have posted anything here. It’s not that I plan to not include what I’m doing… it’s simply that between my Master’s program and teaching full-time, I don’t have the energy some days. Other days it’s just that I don’t remember.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot happen in the last few weeks–we made our own fossils out of plaster, 30 kids earned 2 weeks of lunch detention with the principal, I found out that I actually get to keep my laptop (which blows my mind because it’s pretty expensive, honestly–but SIG funds paid for them as our incentives last year so there’s that), and oh yeah–my Kid Power package came.

I’m really excited to get moving on this project with my students. For those who don’t know, Kid Power is a UNICEF-based project that allows kids to help other kids. My class wears the special bands and goes about their normal day, but their steps add up to points, and their points unlock food for kids who are starving. As an added bonus, there are lessons provided by UNICEF about the culture of the places we are helping, as well as a series of games and other activities from these countries.

The best part? This program was free to me because I applied to the school program.

Now, you could go out and buy these bands. They sell individually at Target for like $40. Or you could by a classroom set from the UNICEF website… Which, in the case of my expected class of 35 or so, would set me back a heavy $1,750 (without tax, of course). But UNICEF also selects schools to participate, and they receive everything free–bands, a tablet to sync everything to (with its own massive data plan), charging blocks, power cords, and a bunch of other cool stuff.

Needless to day that’s the route we went. DPSCD isn’t rich, after all.

Luckily, we got selected. They only serve something like 30 schools a year.

I managed to get all of the bands unwrapped and plugged in, then registered and synced last night. Each one displays the time, steps taken, points accumulated, and the user’s name, which will help when I’m charging 40 bands at a time. I’m not sure I’d want to try and sort that mess back out!

I let the kids wear them today, and play with them. And do you know, my kids were begging me to run errands and to stand up to do their work? They were running in place behind their chair, and even trying to run in place in their chairs. They did Zumba on GoNoodle, and they jogged in place in line. They wanted to get their steps in… and some of them got nearly to their daily goal (12,000 steps; each point costs 2,400 steps and food packets cost 10 points)! They are thrilled to bits to have a new “toy”… but they also had some really good conversations about helping others, and that was awesome to hear.

I told the kids about my own experience in elementary school, where I created and ran my own fundraiser to buy toys for children living in a group home, and they were excited. It might seem like a smaller thing now, but at the time it was a BIG deal. And I want my kids to love helping others too!

I can’t wait to see how things go through this program!

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