Paper leaves for craft tree include statements of gratitute. (Contributed)

Paper leaves for craft tree include statements of gratitute. (Contributed)

On Community: Ways to show gratitude

With Family Day and Valentines Day having just passed, now is a great opportunity to look at what we are grateful for in our world and around us.

As the Community Development coordinator for The Family Education and Support Centre, I feel grateful to be allowed to be me and be accepted for all my sparkle and enthusiasm for things pink and over the top. I am also so grateful for the ability to create courses and workshops that are beneficial in the community and in the school system.

One of those workshops came to light when I was putting together a program in response to the Middle Years Development Instrument. I picked gratitude, which was derived from the pro-social behaviour component of that instrument. Pro-social behaviour is defined as “intended to benefit another,” benefiting other people or society as a whole, “such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering. Through this research, I came up with a fun interactive workshop for students.”

The gratitude workshop includes a discussion on what gratitude is and what it means to each student and from that they get to do a gratitude tree craft with bright coloured paper leaves that state what they are grateful for.

Many of the students put family, friends, homes, food, water, love, electronics, technology and sports. After finishing their tree, they get a chance to share their artwork with the class. Some students create trees that have leaves falling off and some create flowers instead of the tree, but one thing that is consistent is that they are excited to create something that they believe in and feel that they are grateful for.

Then we move on to an action plan for Friends, Family, Community and School. In this action plan, they tell me, as a class, what they can do to show gratitude in all four instances. In every class I have been in from Kindergarten to Grade 7 they have come up with 5 ways for each within minutes. I then leave the list in the classroom for them to expand on over the rest of the school year.

The best part of the workshop is seeing how excited the students get as they come up with ways to show gratitude in their action plans. Almost every class came up with giving hugs and spending time with their friends and family as a way to show gratitude for them, and doing random acts of kindness for their neighbors, like mowing the lawn or saying “hi” and giving smiles and donating time and resources to the community is another amazing way they decide to show gratitude to the people around them.

Every school and class I do, I get more from them than they get from me and I absolutely love the feeling that they give me by filling my heart up every time with love and laughter. I am grateful for the students and the work that I get to do with them and the things that they teach me every time I go into a class.

The gratitude workshop is available to children in any program from Kindergarten up to grade 12 at a cost of $17.

• Contact Nikki at communitydev@familyed.ca to find out more.

Sunny Schiller is coordinator of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows-Katzie

Community Network.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Connie Werzun has taken up photography classes, and tok this picture along the dikes at Jerry Sulina Park one night recently. Using a seven-minute exposure, “a photo taken at night looks like it was taken during the day.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Night photo of mountain range appears as day

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Raphael Baruh of Slavic Rolls creates one of his Eastern European desserts at the Maple Ridge food truck festival on Saturday afternoon. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Food Truck Festival in Maple Ridge this weekend

Pick the drive-through lane for the food you like at Albion Fair Grounds

Coyotes walk down a Maple Ridge residential street. (Special to The News)
Security camera shows coyotes walking down Maple Ridge street

A warning to Silver Valley residents to keep their pets indoors, says home owner

Coach Ray Wakeman and the Maple Ridge Lawn Bowling Club are looking for new members. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Maple Ridge club looking for lawn bowlers

Games have been modified for safety during COVID-19

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Would Maple Ridge councillors want cannabis store beside them?

Resident concerned about how close cannabis store is to her home

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read