The Generosity Project

Louisville Water employees supported the Generosity Project, a Field Elementary School clothing drive for Led By His Love, which is an organization that collaborates with the Coalition for the Homeless.

Field Elementary, located near the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant, is one of our partnership schools. We provide Louisville Water educational programming to every grade, and we often participate in special events.

For the Generosity Project, Louisville Water’s Customer Service Department decorated their Christmas tree with hats, gloves and scarves that were then donated to the students. In addition, a clothing collection box was set-up near the Call Center and another box was located at the Crescent Hill plant.

On Dec. 19, Led By His Love representatives Karen and Austin Wilder visited Field to pick up the clothing the students collected and to tell them how their organization helps the homeless.

Louisville Water Education and Outreach Manager Channa Newman and Community Relations Specialist Barbara Crow visited the school to reward the students’ generosity. Crow, appearing as Tapper, gave the students gift packages that included water bottles and small, plush versions of our mascot.

Teacher Natalie B. Schmitt explained how the Generosity Project started:

Two years ago I started teaching at Field. It was my first year in second grade. I had just transferred from two years at a south end school that was very challenging for me.

As the year developed, I began to realize that no matter what school I was at, I would have students that just did not know how to develop good character. I kept searching for a way to end the tattling, mean attitudes and selfish tendencies.That’s when I discovered the concept and content of Character Education. Actual curriculum exists to teach the skills and character traits I wanted my students to develop. At the beginning of last year, I dove head-first into teaching things like kindness, empathy, fairness and self-control. We planned a project to collect food, toys and other supplies for the Kentucky Humane Society. I was somehow able to convince them to come out and pick up the supplies as well as bring puppies for the kids to play with.

Now, with a year of practice under my belt, I have been able to plan my lessons and activities much more intentionally. We have worked as a class to study what it means to be generous. We’ve determined there are four main ways to share: sharing your time, talents, money and things. We’ve researched and discussed groups and types of people who are in need. We’ve brainstormed ways that we, as second graders, could help meet those needs. We nominated some groups and voted. We then brainstormed more ways to help that group.

We came to the conclusion of helping the homeless by collecting warm clothing for them this winter. The students created posters to explain our project and hung them around the school. A group of my students wrote a script for a shared speech and spoke to the entire school about the project to promote school-wide participation.

Schmitt said the students also will complete reflection journals “to think about what we did, how we’ve helped and how the experience has made us feel.”