I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15
A recent Holy Week service project performed by PreK-3, PreK-4 and kindergarten students is proof that you’re never too little to be of service to others. During Lent, Lower School religion teacher Laura Portwood focused her class lessons on the acts of service performed by Jesus including washing the feet of the disciples. Once students had an understanding of the importance of helping others, Portwood advised the little Knights that they had homework. She says the word homework caused a stir among the students because they had never had homework before. As their eyes grew wide and they enthusiastically discussed what the assignment might be, Portwood gave each student a little bag with a hand towel inside and asked them to go home and see how they could be helpful. It was a simple, open-ended task with tremendous learning potential.
“All the kids were happy to do it,” says Portwood. She says as the students discussed ways to be helpful the ideas started building upon each other until everyone was eager to do their part. Portwood says it was rewarding to see their enthusiasm for what they could do, and the assignment tapped into this age group’s natural desire to be helpful. “They think about others,” she says with a smile. The final step in the assignment was for family members to submit photos of the student service. Portwood was delighted with the work that was accomplished.
A lesson in service is an important part of the Episcopal experience. Portwood says that students must develop the service “muscle” early on or it won’t work as an adult. She hopes the recent Holy Week service project not only encourages the young students to be helpful but also helps them begin to develop compassion and empathy for others. “Hopefully it will grow on its own even as it’s fostered by school,” says Portwood. “It’s something that they could really do and experience the joy of serving somebody else and feel the excitement of being appreciated.”
From washing windows and counters to helping family members and pets, these young Knights are well on their way to being difference-makers in their communities, and we appreciate them. Congratulate these students in the comments section below.