At the end of every school year, the students take part in a culminating activism project that builds off of what they have passionate about throughout the year. As many of you know, one of the biggest themes that emerged this year has been babies. Holding them, changing them, feeding them, keeping them safe, what it means to be a midwife, babies in our own lives. This year, for our activism, we have decided to host a donation-based bake sale to benefit the PDX Diaper Bank. This organization provides disposable and cloth diapers to low-income Portland residents. Since diapers are not covered by SNAP or WIC, it can be a tough expensive for many families. They also offer free workshops on how to use cloth diapers. We thought that the diaper bank would be a good fit for what the children are passionate about and add to our social justice curriculum.
Leading up to the bake sale, the children did skits to demonstrate how a bake sale works. This helped clarify who the the stakeholders were and how the money was going from our bake sale customers to us and then eventually to the diaper bank to help families. This monetary exchange is tricky for children to comprehend, but acting it out helped them see it in action. Additionally, we had two women from the Diaper Bank come and talk to the children about what they do. The children had collaboratively made a song about the Diaper Bank with Katee and performed it when the Diaper Bank representatives came.
When it came time for our first bake sale, we made thumbprint cookies, black bean brownies, and lemon bars. Katee made chocolate cupcakes at home. The children had a lot of fun baking, knowing that their hard work in the kitchen would eventually help some babies be healthy and safe. We made signs for our table and several of them stood behind the table the whole time explaining to parents who came by what the Diaper Bank was, which baked goods were gluten free, and what “donation-based” means. I was so impressed by their excitement for what we were doing and their knowledge of why it was important. And this was just the first one! We will be having another bake sale next Thursday, May 18th from 3:30-4:30, so make sure to stop by for that one as well.