Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

We continued our theme study this week by thinking more about the wants and needs of Philadelphians. Two TPS community members visited our classroom this week to tell us about the work they do in Philadelphia that helps people get what they need. Hilary Hamilton from Junior Unit told us about her volunteer work for Caucus for Working Educators, an organization that supports Philadelphia teachers. Hilary played us a video clip about the resource shortages in the Philadelphia School District, and she explained that she feels passionately that all students in Philadelphia should get what they need.

Kelly Davis, a TPS mom of a sixth grader and a Junior Unit student, told us about her work as the Executive Director of the Lutheran Settlement House. Kelly explained that the Lutheran Settlement House supports Philadelphians with education, language, nutrition, health, housing and other services.

For our theme study students also participated in an activity that highlighted the importance of sharing and working together in a community. Students were divided into four groups and tasked with making four items that represented basic needs in a community: food, clothing, education and interdependence. Each group was given an envelope containing materials for the project, but students quickly discovered they did not have all the materials they needed to complete the project. The class gradually came to the realization that only through cooperative sharing would they be able to make what they all needed. As we reflected as a class on this activity, students shared:

  • “I felt like I didn’t have what I needed.”
  • “I felt we couldn’t do it.”
  • “I didn’t think we could make everything, but we did.”
  • “It felt depressing when we weren’t sharing.”
  • “We needed positive reinforcement, like each other saying, ‘we can do this’ .”

As we continue our study and think about a service project we want to take on as a class, we will continue to connect this activity to how Philadelphians access what they need.

A few items for your calendar:

Our read-a-thon came to an end this week. Thank you for your participation. We hope you and your child enjoyed some voracious reading for a good cause. We will be collecting contributions over the next few weeks until Kirsten, our Reach Our and Read representative, visits us again in a few weeks to collect the funds we’ve raised.

Next Thursday, February 25, we will be celebrating our 100th day of school. We will be doing several service related projects. One of them will be a penny fundraiser involving exercise routines. Please send in a collection of pennies with your child if you happen to have a penny collection you’d be willing to donate.

See you soon.

Ben and Niké