Story by Heidi Butler, photos by Patricia Canavan
September 24, 2013
Karen Klein knows a teaching opportunity when she sees one. When the beloved kindergarten teacher in the Reibman Hall Children's Center at Northampton Community College heard that the "big kids" (members of the college honor society, Phi Theta Kappa) were collecting school supplies for local school children who didn't have any, she asked the kindergartners at Reibman if they wanted to help. They certainly did!
They used their brains to come up with a plan. They made a school bus out of cardboard. They put in in the front hallway so that everyone coming in and out of school would see it. They drew Mrs. Klein driving the bus. She had fancy eyelashes!
They made signs asking people to contribute school supplies. They also made a school bus bank for cash donations.
When Luc asked his family to take him shopping for school supplies, they did not understand. He already had what he needed. He explained that other children weren't as lucky.
Liam brought in glue sticks.
Katrina and Taylor brought in tissue boxes.
The whole class visited a class of grown-ups to ask them to help. The kindergartners used their communications skills to tell the adults why they needed help. Then they chanted their rallying cry in perfect rhythm: "Stuff....the bus....stuff, stuff the bus!" as they passed around the bank box.
The bank began to fill up with money. The bus in the front hall began to fill up with pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers and other supplies.
Thulani kept telling anyone who would listen about the project.
On September 23 Mrs. Klein and the children got a cart and wheeled the gifts to the College Center so the college kids could take them to the children who need them.
Jana helped push the cart.
Sarah held up a sign to explain what they were doing.
They chanted "Stuff...the bus...stuff, stuff the bus" as they walked.
When they got to the College Center, they used their inside voices.
Dr. Elizabeth Bugaighis came to the College Center to meet them. She is a dean of the College. She thanked them for helping other children.
If you are reading this article and you would like to help "Stuff....the bus...stuff, stuff the bus," you have only a short while to do so. Bring your donation to the lobby of the College Center by 11 a.m. on September 26.
To review Northampton Community College's guidelines for public comments, click here