My favorite charity is St. Jude Children's Hospital. The children there really inspire me. Every month I send St. Jude a very small donation. Three months ago, they sent me an amazing calendar depicting the hospital's many young patients. I decided to hang the calendar in my seventh-grade history classroom.
It didn't take long for my students to recognize it and begin asking questions. I decided to use the time for a civics/life lesson. I felt it important to mention to them that it takes everyone working together to make a positive change. Taking small positive strides leads to big progress, and when we invest in the welfare of others, we are also investing in the welfare of ourselves.
That noted, I asked my third period class of 29 students what we could do for the children at St. Jude to show them how much we care. My students mentioned buying them a stereo system and a gift card to purchase music for it. The children were quick to tell me something that I have always known: Music has no barriers. It is a universal language for all to enjoy.
I contacted St. Jude with our idea and was told the hospital would be very glad to accept such a wonderful donation. I told my students I would donate the first $50 and if they could bring in a dollar or less we would have more than enough to reach our goal.
We managed to raise another $34 and have exceeded our goal.
Being a product of the Newburgh School District, I know firsthand how our students are viewed. Each year, I make it my goal to change public opinion while instilling in my students a sense of human compassion and community. My students have displayed heartfelt kindness toward human beings they have never met. I am so very proud of them and am most gracious for the fact that something as simple as a basic calendar could lead to something so wonderfully positive.
Michael Malnic | Meadow Hill School, Newburgh