Learning 20 Mar 2020

What's in your closet? Grade 3s donate their extra resources!

By Laura Coulter, TK grade 3 teacher
Photograph by Laura

Grade 3-1 were busy cleaning out their closets before the Christmas break. They brought in clothing that they'd outgrown or no longer needed. The goal? To pack it up and donate it to children in need living in a remote village in Bali.

The amount of clothing donated (with their parents’ supervision, thankfully!) grew and grew over the week's collection. "I brought in sooooo many clothes," Tarisha C said. "I'm much taller now than last year."  

Smushing 110kg
The fun part was packing! We spent an hour one morning and were able to pack 110kg of clothing into four donated suitcases. The kids did all of the packing, using different techniques to get as many clothes into the large ziplock bags as possible - rolling, folding, smushing. We used the vacuum to suck the air out of the packing pouches and were able to fit everything into the bags, with only a few dramatic tight closures at the end. 

There was a buzz of excitement as everyone bustled around working in small groups to pack the large bags. The sense of accomplishment when the huge pile of clothing had been packed into four bags showed in the students’ smiling faces and congratulations to each other. Nothing was left behind. Thanks to the helpful TK security guards, who loaded the four bags into a taxi. 

Off to Bali
From there, I took the four bags with me to Bali to give to a local contact, who knew of a needy village about 45 minutes from Ubud. She thoughtfully distributed the clothes to the children there and shared several pictures and stories. She asked all the kids from the village to gather one morning and sent everyone home with something new. One boy arrived wearing an old T-shirt of his mother’s (knotted and tied around his waist). He was thrilled to receive his own set of clothing.

50 pairs of shoes
We focused on shoes for the next donation to Bali. Each student in my class donated shoes in good condition of any kind.  Shoes are much harder to pack, but we were able to fit over 50 pairs into two suitcases. Each pair found a good home and will be shared within the village as feet grow - nothing will go to waste.  

Understanding “resources” in different communitiesIn grade 3, during the inquiry into Sharing the Planet, students explore the rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and living things. We also study communities and the relationships within and between them, and people’s access to equal opportunities.

Teaching the idea of resources can be challenging. It can be hard to imagine not having enough food or water in a country with the abundant resources that Singapore has. However, sharing clothing and supporting other children allowed students to open their mind, better communicate and get familiarised with the notion of resources, it made these ideas more tangible. 

Thank you grade 3-1 students (and your families) for your generous hearts and successful efforts to help other children.  A great use of our resources.