Giving Tuesday, Kent Elementary School Teaches Compassion

 On Giving Tuesday, the fourth graders at Kent Elementary School each picked out bottles of shampoo and conditioner, containers of toothpaste and toothbrushes, bars of soap and other essentials, and packed them neatly into bags to give to complete strangers.   

“I hope you think that this is helpful,” Emma, a student in Chris Livulpi’s class, wrote on a card that she made to accompany the bag of hygiene supplies.   

“We don’t know who will be getting the bags,” Emma said. “They are just going to people who need them.”      

For nearly a decade now, sharing with the less fortunate on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – known as Giving Tuesday – has been part of the fourth-grade curriculum at Kent Elementary.   

Mikey, a student in Cathleen Rossetti’s class held a bag of shampoo and supplies in one hand and the card he had written in the other.   

“Is this reading or science?” Mikey asked.   

“This is social and emotional learning,” Ms. Rossetti said. “Compassion is one of our Carmel 6 Cs. We are spreading kindness today.”  

The hygiene bags will go to Putnam Community Action Program, which will distribute the bags and the hand decorated cards to local families in need.   

 “We contacted Putnam CAP to find out what they needed, and hygiene kits were at the top of their lists,” Ms. Livulpi said.   

Giving Tuesday has been so meaningful to fourth graders that the teachers have turned it into a monthly project they call Days of Caring. Once a month the children do something to give back to their school or the larger community. But Giving Tuesday remains the year’s biggest charitable event.  

“Our families are very generous,” teacher Nancy Faccilonga told her class. “They provided these things so we can share with those less fortunate than us. Imagine how you would feel if your family got a bag of supplies you really needed from somebody you did not even know.”