MULTICULTURAL STUDENT GROUP
AN INSPIRATIONAL PROGRAM TO TEACH MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS TO BE RESPECTFUL AND TOLERANT AND TO GIVE OF THEMSELVES TO HELP OTHERS IN NEED
Over 20 years ago, I created Rainbow Council as a means to get students from different ethnic groups on our campus to come together to explore and respect their similarities and differences. It just didn't make sense to me that students were sitting right next to other students who could actually tell them what it was like to live on the other side of the planet and they weren't taking advantage of this learning opportunity. So, I created a safe place within my homeroom, Rainbow Council, where students could actually focus on examining the similarities and differences within their cultures and share this through food, discussion, photographs, films, and guest speakers.
Rainbow Council's mantra, "Be a human spectrum of color, wisdom, understanding, and acceptance, dedicated to making this world a better place on our campus and in our community," is not only written upon the walls of our school, it is practiced by the members of Rainbow Council on a daily basis. This is why Rainbow Council is going strong with a new group of 8th graders entering this homeroom each year with open minds and open hearts. Students in this homeroom are truly dedicated to treating everyone with respect regardless of race, religion, choice, appearance, or ability.
Rainbow Council members also learn what it truly is to give of themselves to help others in need. These students choose to be ‘Angels on earth and do good in this world’ and go out into the community to help children and adults less fortunate than themselves. Members of Rainbow Council ‘give because they can,’ and in doing so they learn the value of generosity.
Around the winter holidays, Rainbow Councils conducts the "Stuff the Holidays with Love Drive," where they encourage our student body to donate NEW stuffed animals for children in need. The members of Rainbow Council will then deliver these stuffed animals to different shelters throughout our community, which provide shelter, psychological services, and/or preschool education to homeless, abused or witnesses of abuse, foster, and low income children. These stuffed animals means so much to these children, who might otherwise be forgotten during the holiday season, that when the following year of Rainbow Council students return to these shelters, the children are still carrying the stuffed animals they received from the members of Rainbow Council the previous year.
In Spring, Rainbow Council conducts the 'M.E.N.D. Used Clothing, Shoe, and Blanket Drive.' M.E.N.D. stands for Meet Each Need with Dignity and this is a wonderful organization which helps homeless and poverty stricken families. Rainbow Council students will actually deliver the items collected for this drive to M.E.N.D. and they will work in their Food Bank, Clothing Store, and Child Care Center, assisting parents in need.
Also, to carry on a traditional that Mr. Bob Hayes, a veteran teacher of Millikan Millikan School, practiced himself, each and every day, Rainbow Council students will wear a small silver heart pin, which I will provide to them, to remind them each day to touch the heart of someone else, either with a smile, a simple hello, and/or a random act of kindness.
Each year, Rainbow Council students also paint a mural or message on our campus to inspire all of our students to live respectfully and give of themselves to help others. Some of these murals can be seen under the ‘School Murals' option.
Rainbow Council students are open to participating in other events to help children in need, so if you know of an event, which would allow 8th students to actually participate in the event, let me know.