Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Habitat for Humanity

Katie's and Nicole's classes are engaged in an amazing year-long service learning project with Greater Portland's chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Today, the kids were invited to visit the ReStore. Among other things, they worked to make "money boxes" that will be placed in each classroom as a donation spot for spare change -- please consider emptying your pockets now and again -- and I was grateful and impressed with the Americorps volunteer who held nails for the children to hammer.

We were then invited to help celebrate the completion of a house in Portland and to welcome the family living in it with gifts and cards made by children at LearningWorks.  FSP children learned a little bit about the family's story -- what stuck the most with Kate is that they had donated 1,000 hours of labor in their home country, never imagining they might be needing housing one day themselves, and when they moved to Portland they came to Habitat for Humanity to volunteer, not in search of a home for their own family -- and sang "This Little Light of Mine,"  almost as a blessing on the kitchen, or perhaps just an offering of openness. 

On our library list :

You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon (author of the "Where I'm From poem I like so much) 

A Chair for My Mother - this is actually already a favorite, by Vera Williams 

A Castle on Viola Street by DyAnne DiSalvo

And, for grown-ups, this brand new book on the Wealth Gap, reviewed yesterday in the NYT