7380 Girard Ave

La Jolla, California

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Posted on Jun 10, 2011

A Year of Community Engagement

June 9, 2011

In the book Raising Resilient Children, Dr. Robert Brooks notes, “We believe that children possess an inborn need or drive to help and to make a positive difference in the lives of others. While most children can be very self-centered at times, placing their own needs first, this trait is often accompanied simultaneously by a pattern in which they achieve pleasure in reaching out and being helpful. As a matter of fact, children generally welcome invitations to be of assistance.” In this spirit, Gillispie students spent the year (sometimes at grade level and often as an entire school) accepting the following invitations to assist others–locally, and around the world: Trick or Treating for UNICEF Collecting clothes for Japan earthquake victims Adopting koalas through an Australian Koala Hospital Refuge Gathering clothes for the San Diego Crisis House, which serves homeless families Performing patriotic songs at Cloisters Gillispie Choir visiting community businesses and nursing homes Supporting and visiting Helen Woodward Animal Shelter Performing chores to purchase gifts for a Tijuana orphanage (El Dia del Niños) Cleaning of the San Diego River Participating in Rock Our World’s Message of Peace Organizing a San Diego Blood Bank community blood drive Making Easter baskets for homeless teens through Voices for Children Collecting Pennies for Peace Gathering food for San Diego Food Bank Serving lunch at St. Vincent de Paul’s Homeless Shelter Participating in Free the Children’s Vow of Silence Painting a mural regarding sustainability fisheries Selling newspapers through Gillispie Girl Scouts for Rady Children’s Hospital Collecting books through Gillispie Girl Scouts for Words Alive book drive Gathering toys through Kidz USA Toy Drive for Rady Children’s Hospital Collecting Halloween candy and distributing it to U.S. Military families Honoring of lifeguard speaker through Community Blooms Participating in Project Wildlife Creating Art Day splatter pins for Vista Hill-Sam and Rose Stein Education Centers Participating in Project Concern’s Walk for Water As written by one Easter basket recipient: “I’d like to thank you for making the Easter baskets because it shows me that a person out there that I don’t even know cares about me. Everything that you put in it is stuff I like very much. But believe it or not, my favorite thing in the basket is the orange Tic Tacs since those are the only flavor that I like. (I’m eating them as I’m writing this.) So I’d like to say thank you very much for spending your time to make me such a special thing. Thank you.” From A., Age 12 And, in the words of the organization that partnered with us on the Art Day pins/art supplies education project: “We are delighted and thrilled that you have involved the Gillispie children in our success.  Children with serious developmental disabilities (like all children) need a great deal of encouragement.  Thank you for helping to provide this!” Ann L. Mound Vista Hill Executive Director Vice President, Development Bravo to all the students, teachers, and parent volunteers who made the year so engaged and so purposeful. We especially thank parents Jill Skrezyna and Karen Stone for their continued efforts to inspire and guide our efforts. Alison Fleming Head of School  
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