Kindergartners learn valuable lessons by satisfying their hunger to give

November 24, 1991|By Angela Gambill

The 5-year-olds at Arthur Slade Catholic School held a discourse on poverty.

"I'll bet some people died from not having food for a long time," said Christopher Wise.

"If we didn't have any food, I would be sad. I might cry!" said another youngster.

The kindergartners at the Dorsey Road school in Anne Arundel County were reflecting on a school program in which each had brought something to give to the needy.

"I brought 'em some chocolate milk!" announced Timothy Bloom.

"Applesauce," said a second child.

"Everything!"

At this Christian school, says kindergarten teacher Jane Nicklas, instructors "emphasize our responsibility to God for others in the school community and outside the community. We collect money for missions. Throughout the year we have a food bank and encourage the children to bring in food for that."

As the holidays approach, each kindergarten through eighth-grade class also adopts a family through Catholic Charities in Baltimore. The children are asked to buy a gift with money they've earned themselves. "We remind them, 'God gives each of us enough to share.' " said Nicklas.

During a recent morning class, another kindergarten class gathered around teacher Lori Fertetta to pray for their "adopted" family.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic order of nuns, had talked about needy families, inspiring the 5-year-olds to buy special presents for the family they're adopting for the holidays.

"How would you feel if you didn't have anything to eat on Thanksgiving, or any presents for Christmas?" asked Fertetta. "Sad!" chorused the children. "How would you feel if you did get things?"

"Happy!" responded the smiling kindergartners. "We're here to make them happy," added one small boy.

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