So much so, that when fourth-grade teacher Kristen Dennis' 23-student class studied about the homeless – learning just wasn't enough.
“It was the whole class' idea to create 'Blessing Bags' to hand out to our local homeless,” said Dennis. “The kids just wanted to do more. They wanted to give back.”
“We're giving bags to the homeless with little things like (food) bars and toothpaste, brushes and socks that we made in our Christmas party on Friday,” said student Langston Delding.
“We're going to just walk and give them away in the area (OB),” said student Zoe Storm.
Even Sunset’s fourth-grade class therapy dog Sadie joined the kids and their teacher, who convened around the left-leaning Ocean Beach Christmas tree planted firmly in the beach.
This year, Sunset View Elementary started something new called Sunset View Elementary Cares.
“The purpose was to empower students and have them feel the gift of giving,” said Dennis. “Each grade level is doing something different for the community.”
Sunset View's fourth-grade class kicked off the program in October with Soctober, wherein students collected socks for the homeless community. All students were encouraged to participate by doing a few chores around the house to earn some money to purchase the socks.
“We ended up getting more than 700 pairs of socks that were donated to the Episcopal Church Center on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard,” said Dennis.
The school's third grade is organizing this month's Sunset View Elementary Cares Winter Jacket Drive. They are collecting gently used jackets for an orphanage in Mexico. The students also wrote cards in Spanish to go with the jackets.
“We have had class discussions on different ways we could help others, and how a small act of kindness can make a big difference,” said Dennis, noting parents donated the items that “kids put together, each in a couple dozen bags containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, water, protein bar and socks, along with a personal note of encouragement.
Will donating to OB's homeless become a school or class tradition for Sunset View Elementary?
“Maybe,” said instructor Dennis. “It's a great idea.”