Welcome to Our School

Students examined their school and local community and discussed their own experiences and those around them, deciding to focus on the issue of inequity for families who often do not speak English and do not have access to resources they need in Alexandria when they have recently come here from other countries. Our class studied community needs by surveying families at the school, and made a list of what we wanted to give families who are new, including language dictionaries and resource packets made by the students, welcome cards and letters, and items such as toys, books, and food. We collected these items by students designing a flier and collecting donations, and students writing letters requesting a corporate donation from Target which was granted to us. Then we compiled the items in welcome bags and delivered them around the school to 25 new students who have joined our school in the past few months!

Driving Question:

Students working

What struggles and injustices do families face when they come to our community from places all over the world? How can we welcome families to our school and help them feel at home?

Students: Second-grade students at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary

Teacher: Kaitlin Opie

Standards of Learning:Student letter


2.11 The student will explain the responsibilities of a good citizen, with emphasis on b)  taking part in the voting process when making classroom decisions; c)   describing actions that can improve the school and community;

2.12    The student will understand that the people of the United States of America make contributions to their communities


2.8 The student will describe natural resources (water, soil, wood, and coal), human resources (people at work), and capital resources (machines, tools, and buildings).

2.10  The student will explain that scarcity (limited resources) requires people to make choices about producing and consuming goods and services.

Probability and Statistics

2.15  The student will a)  collect, organize, and represent data in pictographs and bar graphs; and b)  read and interpret data represented in pictographs and bar graphs.

Patterns, Functions, and Algebra

2.17 The student will demonstrate an understanding of equality through the use of the equal symbol and the use of the not equal symbol.


2.12  The student will write stories, letters, and simple explanations.

The 5Cs:

Collaboration: Students worked together to contribute different elements to our welcome bags, using their strengths, for example students who are talented at art worked together on our flier for donations, students who speak multiple languages translated to make language dictionary pages, etc.

Communication: Students wrote letters asking for donations, and messages to new students and spoke to new students to welcome them when delivering their bags.

Citizenship: Students were thinking and discussing their role as citizens in our diverse community and looking for the best ways to impact that community through direct action.