Ms. Yamasaki is a 5th grade teacher from California who said, “I value teaching service and philanthropy to my students for many reasons. One main reason teaching service learning is valuable is because it inspires children to think of others, rather than just themselves. When they know they are helping others, it gets them excited about their learning and what they are doing.” 

After learning about gratitude from the lesson Deliver Gratitude Day, 45 students designed and carried out the service-learning project Gratitude Brunch. “The focus on gratitude and defining what it means and how it can influence us supported my students in purpose,” said Yamasaki.  

Students put together a gratitude brunch for first responders. One class organized and oversaw decorations, food, and gifts for the first responders and the other class made a presentation to show the first responders during the gratitude brunch. During the gratitude brunch students served the first responders food, presented their slideshow welcoming and thanking first responders, and then the students were able to ask questions to the different groups of first responders in attendance.   

From the tablecloth colors, to the brunch items, to the slides of the presentation, and to their questions they'd like to ask the first responders, students took the lead. They worked collaboratively in teams to send emails to administrators to request specific items for the brunch for purchase, they finalized the order from a coffee shop for the brunch, they served the first responders the breakfast, cleaned up after the event, and they created all decorations and thank you cards for the guests.  

"I enjoyed serving the food and taking the group photo because they were very kind, making me believe I am strong in every way." - HM  

"The most important lesson I learned about this is that you need to be thankful and count your blessings." - AM  

"I enjoy that we got to see real life superheroes" - LB 

“My students were grateful and aware that Learning to Give provided us $250 to make change happen,” said Yamasaki. “They felt that these funds made it possible for students to plan within a budget and use the money for a service-learning project to give thanks and honor our local heroes.”