Thursday, August 8, 2013

Middle School Community Service


Got a call this morning from a local middle school teacher asking me if I could do a presentation on the Environment for her class later this month. I am booked for an hour; but which kid, at that age, wants to listen to some older person talk about something-anything for an hour?

Kids from the cradle to high school graduation feel the stressors in their homes, whether or not the adults want to see it in their faces. A lot of them have trouble falling asleep because of anxiety and fears. These are the stressors many an individual faces about economics, relationships, safety, being loved, and earning success in the culture. And most of the time, the adults in their homes do their best arguing after the kids have gone to bed. We've all been there.

I went into my stash boxes and pulled out my pre-cut 6" blocks, matched them by pairs right sides together and sewed up three sides. I have a bit of Lavender left over from my gardens, so the project I am bringing for them to make in class is "Dream Pillows".

Each bag is one of a kind. Some have critters, some are geometrics, some have flowers, some are grrrly and some are tuff-guy plaids. And there will be extras so no one has to feel like they got last pick. Kids are kids, and these are pre-teen kids who still want comfort in the night before they go to sleep.

I'll add some batting to them before the class, and bring enough Lavender for each of them to add a spoonful to the middles. Then, I'll show them how to easily thread needles (there is a front and a back to needles) and let them learn a new task of sewing up a seam.

During this short hour with me, they will have the opportunity to learn about the Environment through:

  • Sharing of mundane and vital resources
  • Endangered species of plants and animals
  • Plants that promote well-being
  • Relieving stress and getting a good night's sleep
  • Repurposing, Recycling, Reusing in order to save Water Resources and Land Fills
  • Self-sustaining skills (threading a needle, sewing a seam)
If it were a class of adults, I might put together a handout that covers more specific points. These are Middle School kids and the hand out is the Dream Pillow. The take-home is the experience.

This is yet another form of Generative Contemplation / Spirituality because it takes a part of who I am and passes it onto a younger generation. I don't know these kids and they won't remember me. It is my dearest hope that the simple skills offered in our brief contact will help them think, see alternatives and give them a good night's sleep.