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La Jolla, California

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Posted on Dec 13, 2013

Commitment to Giving

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In the months of November and December, I always marvel at the spirit of gratitude and generosity that surrounds a school, and as I think about my hopes and goals for the new year, I resolve to nurture the fellowship and goodwill that come from giving.

A sense of community should be at the heart of a school and provide its members a secure home away from home. I’m impressed by the many ways this happens at Gillispie. The Prekindergarten potluck feast before we broke for Thanksgiving was celebratory and inclusive as dishes were passed from family to family. Emphasizing the practice of giving rather than receiving, the Kindergarten classrooms have created a “giving tree” (in the spirit of Shel Silverstein’s poem) to support the Children with Vision Orphanage in Tijuana, and the Gillispie Choir connected to senior citizens through this week’s performances at the La Jolla Community Center and at White Sands. Generosity has a ripple effect by inspiring us, and fourth graders experienced this after working at the San Diego Food Bank–three class members were motivated to set up a lemonade stand raising additional funds for the food bank, and another student participated in the San Diego Run for the Hungry.

All of these experiences remind me that Gillispie students, with guidance from teachers and parents, are ready and able to build community. As the adults in our children’s lives, let us commit to cultivating a sense of hope and purpose that comes from altruism—not just at one particular time of the year—but from sustained and sincere effort throughout the year.

Alison Fleming
Head of School

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