Teaching kindness through giving


As the holiday season approaches, students in the Tanque Verde Unified School District are asked to reflect on ways to support their community through acts of kindness and giving, encouraging their understanding of the importance of helping others. There are wonderful examples throughout the district - Carols sung at assisted living homes, needy families ‘adopted’ for the holidays, food collections to support the Community Food Bank,  and expressions of appreciation to the first responders who keep our community safe.

Students and teachers at Tanque Verde Elementary School (TVES) experience the importance of kindness and the joy of giving each year during their annual Cheer and Charity Projects.

Tanque Verde Elementary School has a long tradition of helping economically disadvantaged students in our greater Tucson community. For many years, they have had a connection with Prince Elementary School in the Amphitheater District. There are also classrooms who have extended the outreach to include Amphi’s Keeling Elementary, and Wright Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District. The classroom teachers at Tanque Verde Elementary School work together with families to coordinate and prepare for the special deliveries. 

Ms. Juli Daley, a 6th grade teacher at TVES explains, “The students we ‘adopt’ at Prince Elementary have had to deal with many heartbreaking tragedies and immense struggles. Many are new to our country and are living in two bedroom apartments with multiple families. This project makes a huge difference for these disadvantaged children and their families.”

Classrooms at all grade levels were asked to collect new and gently used books, toys and clothing of all sizes. This year, third grade classrooms collected board games for all ages. The sixth grade classrooms collected sports equipment. Gift cards for Walmart and Food City, stores located near the school, were also collected to help families with food and basic necessities.


 families at clothing distributionchildren at toy distribution

TVES Cheer and Charity Video Slideshow Link

Students in Ms. Vega, Ms. Marr, Ms. Donithan, Ms. Wilson, and Ms. Daley’s 3rd and 6th grade classrooms helped facilitate the project, collecting, sorting, wrapping and delivering the items collected. 45 children at Prince Elementary each received a stuffed animal, sports equipment, board games and books. All the participating classes at TVES also made each child a blanket.

Ms. Basler, Ms. Johns, and Ms. Hensel’s classes also participated in the giving projects at Keeling and Wright Elementary. In all, 75 children received gifts and multiple families were invited to shop through all the donations that were received. 

On delivery day, the anticipation and excitement are almost palpable. Cars are loaded with clothing and gifts. Excited chatter fills the air as the students board the bus at Tanque Verde Elementary. Principal Batty and Assistant Principal Laird join the teachers and students for the very special delivery.

Upon arriving, the classes are greeted warmly by the staff at Prince Elementary, and they make their way to the multi-purpose room where they enjoy meeting the students and playing games together.The time they get to share with the Prince Elementary students brings wide smiles and happy conversations, as new friendships and understanding are formed.

Ms Daley notes that through their participation in this project, our students are left with a lasting understanding of the importance of kindness and compassion which they experience through the act of “giving.” 

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