Two weeks ago we decided to do a “Thankfulness Tree” with our After School Students, as well as any visitors who wanted to join. We spoke with our students about what being thankful means, how even on days when we feel like we have “nothing” (ie, nothing to wear, nothing to eat, nothing to do) we actually have a lot. We have the jackets to keep us warm, food on our plates (even if we don’t *love* that food) and plenty of things to keep us active. During our 4 minute “settling in” that we do every day we asked the students to instead of being reflective about their day, assessing their physical and mental needs, to think about what they are thankful for. We then wrote those on paper leaves and hung on our Thankful tree. Watching the tree grow in just 12 days I watched the students answers mature.
At first they talked about their material possessions and they talked about their families, their friends.
Then they talked about the fact that they have a few good friends to see them through the times they are bullied in school.
They talked about the heat they have in their house, because they know that not everyone is as fortunate.
They talked about their thankfulness for the farm and the Mentors that keep them safe, the trees, the earth.
They are thankful for their teachers because they know they work hard, and their baby brothers and sisters.
They are thankful for their friends at Spence’s Farm, the one’s they don’t see every day at school, because they know that once they step off our vans they have someone who is truly happy to see them.
They are thankful for the food they get and that they can do chores to buy Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
And they are thankful that they are who they are.
As the program director here at Spence’s Farm For Kids, I am grateful for them.