Kids Helping Kids Have a Happy Holiday

By Emily Veling, Teacher and Treehouse Partner

It’s a very busy time of year at Schmitz Park Elementary –our hallways are bustling with over 600 students excited about learning and the holiday season! As a first grade teacher and Student Council advisor for 3rd – 5th grade students, I am constantly looking for opportunities to strengthen community between the kids at our school. Last year, we formed our first-ever Student Council and ended our inaugural year with a Book Drive to support Treehouse. These leaders wanted to encourage summer reading for all kids in our Seattle community. Schmitz Park students loved their involvement (and especially our tour of the Treehouse Wearhouse), and this year’s Student Council wanted to continue supporting Treehouse by hosting our first-ever holiday donation drive as a way to promote service and giving in our community.

Donation Drive Poster

These young leaders have worked so hard at getting the entire school involved. We spent many morning meetings discussing our “marketing strategy”. Students took charge by hanging small red fliers all over campus. With the help of our other Student Council , Leslie Vannini, students worked together to create a Tree of Giving poster in the main hallway. We decided on a prominent spot in our building, and developed a system for hanging gift tags that both parents and students would see on a daily basis. For our mid-drive marketing, Vice President Sylvie Gliko explains “we’ve been putting up big and small posters everywhere and announcing it in our classrooms.” “We’ve been trying to promote the drive so people will donate and we’ve been hanging up more tags,” explained fourth grader Jessica Levin. Another highlight for Student Council was making announcements during lunch times last week. Schmitz Park Elementary Student Counsel

The impact this drive is having on our school community is positive and widespread – donations have taken over a portion of our library, teachers are sending notes about the drive in their newsletters, and Student Council members are getting the word out to their classmates. Third grader Tali Stone explains “it’s important for Schmitz Park to do the holiday donation drive so all kids have fun things to play with and so the holiday is more special for them. Then they’ll feel loved.” Student Council’s enthusiasm and commitment to Treehouse and the donation drive inspires me, and is a powerful reminder that giving makes our entire community stronger.


Subscribe to Our Blog

About the Author

Emily Veling is a first grade teacher and Student Council advisor at Schmitz Park Elementary in West Seattle. She loves helping kids discover the joy of learning and inspiring the next generation of creative and confident leaders.  She resides in Wallingford and is an avid coffee drinker, restaurant explorer, runner, weekend chef, shopper, and performing arts enthusiast.

Leave a Comment