Lion International President Yngvadottir, in her President’s Message of January, is asking that we get involved with our youth. This year I decided to do this on my own. My daughter, Carrie Hellmann teaches fifth grade at Jeffersontown Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky. I am Class Granny to her class. I am trying to help them develop a passion for service, like I have through my Middletown Kentucky Lions Club. I have asked her students to give back in several ways, as well as work on being good citizens. Once a month I visit their class. Here’s what we have done so far and what is planned for the rest of the year:
September –We made a quilt to get to know each other. We gave ourselves Native American names and drew petroglyphs on the quilt. We used foam sheets that we could draw on and tied them together with yarn. I pulled up photos of petroglyphs and talked about what they were and how Native Americans left these for us. Having traveled west and visited several Native American petroglyph sites myself, students were eager to see that these are a real part of our American history.
October- We made pumpkin faces, wrote positive notes and dropped them off at a local nursing home. The notes were so nice that I am sure many residents had a good day just reading them.
November – We colored placemats for students to take home and give away for Thanksgiving. We also did an A-Z list of things to be thankful for. They made their list and got points if it was the same as their teacher or Granny. They were also given an elf name to be my “good elf” during the holidays. (They drew one name from a list using the letter from their first name and then a second name from the month of their birth. So I would be Perky Tinsel Toes. Others were Happy Pointy Ears, Jolly Chubby Cheeks – you get the idea.)
December– We tied fleece neck scarfs-one for students and one to give away. We also discussed giving to others and how that makes us feel good. I got this idea from tying fleece blankets at my church. There are tons of YouTubers giving instructions on tied blankets. I just cut them small enough for kid’s neck scarves and we knotted the ends. Also, I left them 5 Days of Granny Holiday. For 5 days they received a gift with a positive note. Day one was holiday sticks (2 pencils and candy canes), Day 2 was a gingerbread house craft, Day 3 was a snowman joke teller cootie catcher, Day 4 was reindeer treats (red and green candy with trail mix) and Day 5 was candy kisses with a note that read, “Granny has been busy granting wishes, so she dropped off these holiday kisses.”
January– We talked about the New Year and put wishes on their Class Wishing Tree. They pulled out a wish to give to the class and put it on a star to hang on the wishing tree. Wishes included courage, kindness, laughter, and of course SNOW. I left them with quote I found – “A new year is like a blank diary and the pen is in your hand. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. May you step into the New Year with fresh dreams and new hopes.”
February-We will make a Random Act of Kindness booklet. (an act that no one told you to do and it was unexpected.) It will have pages to pull out and give to someone whom students want to encourage.
March- We will be making corner bookmarks to give to the school library. This is fun and simple – it only requires paper and markers. I found dozens of ideas on Pinterest.
April-We will be making dog pull toys from fleece selvage to give to the local dog shelter. Selvage is the raw edge cut off fabric. Three pieces are braided together, then those are braided together and big knots are tied on both ends. They make very secure dog pulls/chews.
May – We will get ready for summer break by doing a video of our year. We may make armpit fudge our treat for a good year. Oh, you do use a plastic bag with the ingredients inside. Our Lions International President has given us the challenge to get involved with our youth. And you will find that it is so rewarding. I am hoping that I can live this quote from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Lions – Let’s help get some youth feeling good!
Lion Kay Mills
Treasurer Middletown Kentucky Lions Club 32212