Children Reaching Children
War is a terrible thing. And the war we are trying to get through right now sure has its share of brutality and loss of life. The sad thing is that it is the children who are most affected by such a war. And they are the ones who least understand what is going on around them. But even in situations as sad and desperate as a war zone, you can sometimes find rays of hope and moments where people reach out to each other in a way that really helps. One such way happens every time that children in our country reach out to children half way around the world.
This happens every day through the many school projects that help kids find a way to send some needed supplies, a letter of encouragement and some joy to the children overseas who are enduring war in their country. These kinds of community service projects that teachers in thousands of school rooms all over America have their children do, go far to help bring international understanding and hope between peoples. It is safe to say that these outreaches do as much or more for the children extending the help as they do for the children to receive the packages from strangers far away. This is community service at the largest possible scale. We can call it that because when children reach out and help other children, even hardened and syndical adults are touched because we see a global community, the community of mankind and the community of children everywhere rise up to help others in need.
The good this does is just as valuable as a community service project as any effort to pick up trash in the park or to gather food for the homeless, as good as those efforts are. For the children on the giving end of these community outreaches, the learning experience is invaluable. Many times the teachers will use an American solider someone knows as a point of contact. That brave soldier can make sure the gifts sent by the children get to local children of a similar age. If he can take some pictures or a video that can be sent back to America, the excitement the givers of the gifts experience is electric. Too often we all watch stories of atrocities or the suffering of war and we cannot really connect to what is going on because it is so far away and those people are not really connected to us. But when these children send presents to children suffering the affects of war, they gain a sense of connection, an empathy and that “brotherhood” or sisterhood with children far away who have the same hopes, dreams and daily needs that the kids in their classroom have. When a teacher takes their class through an exercise like this, the lesson time always pays off because the teacher and the parents of the children see an immediate interest in the far away affairs in these kids. It can be disconcerting to a parent to see their elementary school age child glued to the evening news and the coverage of the war to see if they can spot a child that might have received their package. All of a sudden, those far away children are real and all our kids want for them is for them to enjoy a simple toy, a nice thing to eat and a quiet day when nobody in their family dies.
For the children in a war zone, these packages can be as much of a revelation as it is for the senders. They can look at the pictures of children from America who took the time to send something just for them. All of a sudden, American children are just like them and they care. A simple gift like this can change a heart from one of hate to one of a child who has found a friend. We should be happy our teachers are helping our kids connect to far away children and that the result is our kids empathize with people suffering around the world. These lessons will make them better citizens of their communities, of their country and of the world when they are grown and raising children of their own. PPPPP 720 .
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