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Be the Change: Project 180, Day 112

“Project Feed Forward is an investment in tomorrow. One kind act a time. One kid at a time. Feeding kids. Building character. Investing in the future.”

What began simply as an idea to provide some snacks when I could for kids who were hungry has grown into a project to not only fill kids’ bellies but also build their characters. Each day, dozens of kids access my cabinet to get Cup Noodles or granola bars. The cost? Please and thank you. As the project has grown, it has surpassed my capacity to keep my cabinet stocked. Fortunately, many from the Cheney community have stepped up and helped keep the project going with their generous donations. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Recently, former CHS student Alexa Shaw, who is now a senior psych major at EWU, contacted me to get involved with the project, expressing that she and some of her peers wanted to participate in a community-service project, and my project was right up their alley. Of course, I eagerly welcomed her participation. The project is bigger than I. Way bigger.

Last week, I was also thrilled to learn that community-involvement hero Jessica Deutsch had floated my project idea to STCU, who may be able to help. Still waiting to hear back on this. Either way, I am humbled and inspired by the community work and support people like Jessica and organizations like STCU provide.

What does this have to do with 180? Well, if one can accept that notion that the purpose of education transcends academics, then he/she understands that education is also about preparing kids to be contributing, productive members of society. This spring, after the standardized-testing saga is over, the kids are going to come up with their own “make-a-difference” projects, projects that will impact the local, national, and/or global community. As with the academic side of things in the classroom, one of the most important roles I can play is model. And just as I model writing for my kids, I model that each can strive to make a difference. So, I share my models, my projects.

Project Feed Forward is one of three projects that I have going right now. I also have Project You Matter and, of course, Project 180 in play. All three projects began with my seeing something that I wanted to change, so instead of just thinking about it, I went for it. I want to use my projects to empower the kids to do the same. At the risk of being cliche’, I want them to see the need for a change, and I want them to be the change. No, nothing to do with language arts necessarily, but a lot to do with finding a place, a purpose. If my kids leave me with that, then I will feel like I have made a difference.

Happy Wednesday, all.

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