Like the concept of kindness to all, our unit continues to grow! After our visit to The Cobble Hill Health Center on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, the kindness conversation continued. How can we thank other helpers in our community?
The children loved creating the beautiful tissue box covers for the health center residents, so we decided to make boxes for our parents too. And then we wondered who else needs a tissue box and a thank you. The Literacy Center was all abuzz, making Valentine’s and thank-you cards. The children decided that our firefighters, police and crossing guards needed to feel the love.
Valentine’s Day was the day chosen to deliver the cards, well wishes and Valentine’s candy to our local FDNY and NYPD. I called Chief Clifford at Engine Company #202 and Community Affairs Detective Paul Grudzinski to ask if it would be alright to send a troop of four-year-old’s (because the stations are a pretty long walk from CHP) to deliver the goods. As I expected, they were more than gracious and happy to hear that the children would be dropping by.
On Valentine’s Day morning, the children were off on their first mission. When the class arrived, the firehouse was ready! A large group of firefighters was there to greet everyone and invited them in to see the station. If that was not enough, each child had the opportunity, one by one, to sit in the firetruck. They even got to spray the hose! Before the children left, each child gave each firefighter a card as well as extras for the firefighters who were off that day. The firefighters were so happy! Right before they said goodbye, the firefighters gave the children something too: Firefighter hats and books. What a magical trip!
The kindness continued to abound in the afternoon. The children were off to the 76th Precinct. Youth Officer Nebar and her partner met the children at the door and then invited them inside for a tour. They spoke with the children about what the officers of the NYPD do. Officer Nebar explained how each member of the department has a different shield and she even let each child hold one! Like our visit to the fire station, before the children left, they distributed the thank-you and Valentine’s cards. The officers posed for a photo in front of the station and the children left for CHP.
On the journey home, the group passed a crossing guard and gave her thank-you and Valentine’s cards too. Like the firefighters and police officers, she was thrilled!
What is next for the kindness unit? We decided to turn our classroom supermarket center into a Care Center for people, babies and pets! The children will don their doctor’s coats and get to work. While “patients” are waiting for care, they can choose a book from a large box of books in the “waiting area.” Of note is that these books were donated by the physicians and staff of CitiMD who were participating in their own kindness program this summer. Sometime soon, we will be getting a visit from one or more of the folks at CitiMD to talk to the children about care centers. Better still, one of them will sit down and read the children a book!
Kindness is real and it is growing at CHP. Pass it on!