The annual first-grade field trip to the pumpkin patch is coming up. All students in the first grade are allowed to go as long as permission slips have been signed.
However, in order to pick a pumpkin out at the end of the field trip, a $5 fee must be paid by a certain date.
$5 for a school field trip isn’t a huge ask for parents… but for some parents, it’s everything. It’s more than they can give to allow their child the simple indulgence of picking a pumpkin at the end of the field trip.
On the day of the event, several kids will leave the farm with a small pumpkin.
And several will walk away empty-handed.
Maybe the parent forgot to send the money. Maybe the parent truly could not afford the money. Maybe the money was swapped with a 5th grader at recess for a candy bar, I don’t know the circumstances.
But what I did know was that some kids would be walking away without a pumpkin. And my heart broke for those students, regardless of the why.
So we sent an extra $20. It wasn’t much. It may not even cover every single child in the classroom that didn’t pay the $5 fee.
But I’m helping how and when I can, and I’m working hard to teach my children to do the same.
To find the friend on the playground who doesn’t have anyone else to play with and invite them into your game.
To notice the classmate feeling down and ask how you can help.
Because school is really cool, and we are there to learn how to read and add up numbers. But we’re also there to learn how to be really awesome human beings full of empathy and service.
So pay the extra field trip money.
Send a second sandwich in their lunch for someone who needs it.
Donate the dry-erase markers.
Because when our kids see us treating others in schools this way, they’ll turn around and do the same.