TEACHING KIDS TO CARE
Twice a year, we at DoubleTree Beach Resort by Hilton teams up with our adopted school, M.K. Rawlings Elementary in Pinellas Park, FL, with a corporate-wide DoubleTree program called “Teaching Kids to CARE”. Each spring and fall, we have a special lesson plan to teach to the students, which usually involves going “green” with recycling efforts, planting trees for Earth Day, or donating food to less fortunate around the holidays.
We celebrated Global Week of Service in October 2014 with all 130 2nd grade students at M.K. Rawlings Elementary School along with one of favorite our community partners, Suncoast Seacoast Sanctuary. Ralph Heath, founder of the nearby Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, brought a baby seabird to show our students, along with real examples of how proper recycling can make a difference by keeping harmful materials out of the reach of animals, humans and seabirds! We followed up with the same group of 2nd grade students for the “Clean up the Community” Follow-up Lesson in November to see how much they’d learned from our previous visit.
In Spring 2014, we teamed up with the 3rd graders at M.K. Rawlings Elementary with our “Grow a Garden” lesson plan! As always, our Teaching Kids to CARE team works hard to make our lessons meaningful to our local community. Since Florida is a great source of locally grown produce, meat and seafood, we had a lot to talk about! It was amazing to see how much the 3rd grade students already knew about this topic.
Our Executive Chef spent time asking the students what foods they enjoy eating and talked about how he makes the food in our restaurant taste great by sourcing ingredients from nearby sources, which cuts down on carbon emissions from delivery vehicles & supports local farmers and fisheries. He also passed around examples of fresh cut herbs for the students to experience with their 5 senses as we discussed how herbs grown in our own gardens can make the foods we eat taste spectacular! Finally, we helped our students plant herb gardens of their own from seeds (using recycled milk containers they saved from their lunches) and we left each teacher with a potted herb garden to grow in the classroom. At the end of each lesson, we shared our “cookie care” by leaving all 120 student and teachers our favorite treat… a delicious chocolate chip cookie!