Ms. Churchill-Bos is an Education Specialist/TLC teacher at Fortuna Union High School in Fortuna, California. “I wanted to make sure that my students have positive experiences in their community. I also wanted them to see that even small acts can make a big difference in someone else's life,” Ms. Churchill-Bos said about bringing philanthropy education into her teaching.
Using the "Phil"-ing Good lesson as a platform, six 9th-12th grade students completed the service-learning project named TLC Companions. The lessons helped give the students more background knowledge and understanding of new terms, like philanthropy, for their mini-grant funded project.
The students created handmade comfort items and gave them to elderly people in a nursing home. When some of the students delivered the small pillows, they were able to see how their projects positively impacted people in their community. “They interacted with people who they may never have had the opportunity to and it was very powerful to see the interaction,” said Churchill-Bos.
The students showed leadership in coming up with the entirety of the project, including who they would make the small pillows for. For the project, the students purchased soft fabric and pillow stuffing to make the comfort items. Those students that were present on delivery day felt a high level of pride and a feeling of being helpful; an experience that many of them had limited experience with, due to their disabilities or past traumas.
“The students were able to see how a small act of kindness could greatly impact another person's life and quality of life,” said Churchill-Bos.
The students expressed interest in wanting to go back and visit the people in the nursing home. In the future, Ms.Churchill-Bos plans to hold other yearly events to spend time like this in their community.