At Little Folks, the staff looks for every opportunity to develop socialization. One of the many ways that this area of development is approached is through altruistic projects that involve children, parents and staff.
As the number of homeless people has grown in Washington, DC, the appearance of panhandlers has become a more common occurrence. Whenever children encounter homeless people in the street, they have many questions about the people that they see. The school’s response has been to introduce a monthly “sandwich patrol,” to provide food for those people who do not have enough to eat. On the first Thursday of each month, parents volunteer to provide ingredients for sandwiches which the children help to prepare. These are delivered to the Georgetown Ministry which distributes them to the homeless. This activity has proved to be a valuable lesson in reaching out to the greater community in need, as well as a fun and worthwhile project for everyone involved.
We collect non-perishable food to contribute to an area food bank. This is an activity which children can participate in by actually choosing food, carrying it to school and placing it in a collection basket, along with the contribution of others. This very concrete experience, like the “sandwich patrol,” brings the spirit of giving alive for young children.
Every year during the holiday season Little Folks takes on a very important project by gathering small gifts for children who will have a holiday dinner at Martha’s Table, an area outreach organization. Martha’s Table provides food as well as daycare programs for homes and low-income children and their families. 100 children are invited to a holiday dinner and the Little Folks’ families provide each child a decorated bag filled with the following: Beanie Babies, socks, hats, mittens, art supplies, chap stick, small travel sixe lotion, stickers, and candy canes. These articles are generously donated by the families of the Little Folks School. This project provides a a wonderful opportunity to teach children about giving to those who are less fortunate. It provides a concrete experience of what it means to share.