Need money, really, for kids.
Asking for donations but also telling a story about the brain. Today, I sat in on my colleague’s brain science class. We learned about teenage brains. Since most of the audience owned one much of what she had to say was lost – but I was listening and learning. And, I even retained a few things, like John and I both think speakers and good bass make the media experience. I also know that my prefrontal cortex might be likened to a universal remote control for the entertainment system.
I also found out that teen brains really, really get off on big and medium rewards. Waaaay more dopamine gets squirted about when something medium great, or better, comes their way.
Small rewards, on the other hand, barely register in comparison to adults and kids.
At the alternate school where I teach we have been able, through the generous donations of others but especially of one of our staff, to give the kids small Christmas stockings during our holiday lunch celebration. Santa has come and given teddy bears that were donated from the Government Liquor Stores, stockings filled with boxes of candy, and a gift card to somewhere groovy cool – often somewhere to eat.
Many of our students don’t have regular meals. And, not because they look into fridges bulging with fruit and vegetables and say, “There’s nothing good to eat,” but because there is nothing but mustard in the fridge.
This year our very generous staff member has had other priorities interfere with this tradition and none of us really clicked to this until today. The reality is, we will be giving each student a candy cane. We will make a nice speech about each student as we bestow the candy cane upon them. What I know from the brain class is that our minor generosity won’t register. Not because they are ungrateful but because their growing/pruning brains are not yet wired to be grateful for the small things.
A gift card to Subway isn’t that big a deal to many of us but for more than half the students it is a big deal. It is a meal – or two. It is the ability to go with friends and not feel embarrassed, at least this once.
So, if you haven’t reached the limit of your Christmas giving and you would like to help us treat each child to a little something for the holidays can you leave me a message here or on Facebook or email me with an amount. If we can reach $1000 the plan is a go and then I’ll come collecting. (Anything over $25 qualifies for a tax receipt.)
So, let me know, and thank-you!