Weekly Update: Weeks 11-12

Hello!

I hope you all had the most wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Each year I have so much to be thankful for, but this year more than others I am so thankful for the Robin's Nest community. We have always wanted to inspire thoughtfulness, care, giving and charity but this year you are all inspiring us. We received the sweetest notes from some families this past week and have been so thankful for your generosity in donations, soup ingredients, monetary donations for others and endless smiles and compliments. We have finished up the thank you notes for 50 members of our community and I know how each card will warm the heart of it's recipient. The staff an I are so very thankful for you and your children this year.

Erin and I attended the community conversation about being a green community a few weeks ago. We have always worried about our carbon footprint and tried to model best practices for the earth. We quickly realized how much more we could be doing! Each year we collect the trash we make from lunches for a few days and encourage families to make less in the future. We will be doing that this week as a heads up! We have been cleaning up so many cheese stick wrappers, yogurt squeezes, bar wrappers and other plastic under the lunch tables each day. We encourage you to pack less that comes individually packed and to buy in bulk when you can. I just found a coupon code for the UKonserve containers so many of us love. Here is the website https://www.ukonserve.com and the code is UKSCHOOL for 20% off. We are also thinking labeling these with sharpie an initials may be helpful since so many of us have them! I purchased bamboo forks and spoons this year after so many children did not have silverware in their lunches and my spoons kept disappearing. These have been amazing! I decided to encourage some earth friendly shopping as our community connection in December. I purchased 90 reusable nylon shopping bags and will have the children hand them out to people who attend the Living Local Art Fair. Bringing reusable bags when shopping is one of the easiest things you can do to help use less plastic. I am excited to give back to the community this way during our month of "Giving".

I have been waiting to tell you about something that we did a month ago till I knew it was actually going to happen, but I now know it is! We got to Skype with my aunt's 7th grade ELA class at Jaffrey Rindge Middle School about a month ago. They told us about a writing project they were doing and asked us to illustrate a book for them! The book is finished and we will be working on it. The writing assignment was  based on the Habits of Mind and the students had a child learning a skill from fear of it to mastery. I read more about Habits of Mind and realized it is just what we do at Robin's Nest. Here is a description I found online, 

"Problem-based learning and project-based learning provide a rich opportunity for students to deepen their knowledge, expand their repertoire of technical skills, and enhance their appreciation of thinking tools, processes, and strategies.
It is not enough, however, to understand concepts and principles and to solve that one problem, as challenging as it might be. The essential outcome is to develop and expand the dispositions of skillful problem solvers who can apply their learnings to an ever-expanding array of challenges not only in commonly taught subjects in school, but also in their communities, in their world and in their lives.
While we are interested in how many answers individuals know, we are even more interested in how they behave when they don’t know—when they are confronted with life’s problems the answers to which are not immediately known. The larger goal is for enhanced performance under challenging conditions that demand strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity, and craftsmanship to resolve complex problems."

I have been reading a lot about and even witnessing children and some adult's inability to deal with problems when they arise. Children are sheltered, not getting chances to take risks, not getting chances to make mistakes to learn from, and even physically not being able to learn how to move their bodies to help them learn control. This is because of less recess in school and more use of technology in our daily lives. These are frightening things to witness. I am so excited and hopeful that this curriculum in being taught, explored and creatively thought about by my aunt Michelle Durand and her students. I am excited to share the story with you when the whole thing is complete. I was looking at her class's webpage and I loved the description of her class, "In room 128 at Jaffrey Rindge Middle School, be prepared  to work hard, play hard and to realize that our  moments of reflection are to be treated respectfully as they will fuel us so that our genius can be realized. We are all developing our abilities in creating a better world."

Cheers to wanting to create a better world.

SOUP: We will accept donations for next week's corn chowder this week! White potatoes, frozen corn, celery, onions. Please return jars Monday morning if you have any!

Schedule: 11/27-12/1- "I" Week

  • Monday 11/27: Music with Jacki and her guitar!!
  • Wednesday 11/29- Art / Turkey's with the Browns
  • Friday 12/1 Dance and Thankfulness talk with Alex?

Living Local Art Fair: 12/9 10am to 4pm Unitarian Church 25 Main St, Peterborough
Erin, Roz and Julie Brown will be selling awesome handmade items!
Robin's Nest bake sale to benefit NH Audubon
Robin's Nest give back- bag hand out

I will have a sign up for bake sale cooking and for hanging out at the fair to man the table and hand out bags at the door. Food will not be priced so you can make whole things like pies, cakes, breads, or just send plates of cookies, muffins, brownies etc and I will have wax paper bags for costumers. We sold out last year so if everything could make something that would be amazing! 

Holiday Concert/Party: We were not able to find a venue that was close enough, big enough and affordable so we will plan on a Spring outdoor gathering instead! 

Vacation: No school Friday 12/22 back Tuesday 1/2. 

Donations Needed:I recently found out that an alumni's family had a fire in their home and the mother and the children lost most of their things. I will have an envelope out this week for monetary or gift card donations. 

Thank you, dear friends!

Brianna Graves