Slice of Life: A Post-Concert Tally

Slice of Life(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)

The other week, my school held a Benefit Concert with staff and student musicians. I organized much of it and the payoff was the music itself, being able to jam with a bunch of students and friends, and watching current and former students shine on the stage.

But there was a bigger purpose, too, which was to collect donated books for schools in New Orleans still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina (which was an idea from one of my students which sparked the idea of a concert in the first place) and to collect coins for our school’s ongoing efforts to support the Pennies for Peace organization.

I finally got the tallies of the donations.

First, we collected about $350 in coins that night from the audience for Pennies for Peace. That’s more than I thought we had, but those coins sure do add up when they are counted (not by hand, thankfully, but by bank machine).

Second, we have about 12 large boxes filled with donated books and a few bags continue to show up at my classroom door from time to time. A student and his mother have been in charge of figuring out what to do next, as they are part of a church organization that regularly ships donations down to New Orleans. But my student surprised me the other day by saying that he and his mom were going to personally deliver the books to the elementary school chosen to receive the books.

“How will you do that?” I wondered.

“We’re going to drive,” he said proudly. “And I am going to take my camera, and flip video, and take pictures of the school.”

I thought to myself, that’s a long trip from Massachusetts to New Orleans, but later, his mom said they were looking forward to an April vacation adventure, and I could only think: that will be a cool learning experience for this student who sparked the idea for a concert, played drums on the stage (and whose self-esteem is now rocketing as a result) and now gets to deliver our school’s donations right to the school itself.

“I can’t wait to see the pictures and hear about it,” I said, and he beamed.

Now, I am thinking: this has all the makings of a cool digital story project for him. Hmmmm.

Peace (in the pennies),

  1. Kevin- your student will never be the same. His engagement in his recent “work”/learning has been a turning point for him. He’s contributing to a community in need far away, his community at school, and his own family with his good work. Nice musical vignette!

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