Kim, a TOAM parent, approached us months ago with the idea to create activity bags for students to use over their summer break. Her inspiration came from a friend who taught in Milwaukee and created activity bags for her students. This was a lovely idea but Lynn and I weren’t sure where our funding would come from to create such a project.

Early this spring, we learned that we would be the lucky benefactors to a fundraiser at the Athleta store in Bayshore Mall. We would earn a percentage of all the purchases made in one evening at the store AND it would be matched by Gap Corporation. Suddenly, we had our answer! We could use some of the fundraiser money to make the activity bags.

With our fundraiser  money we purchased toys that were safe, multi-purpose, and would hopefully inspire active and creative play (that could be shared with friends and/or siblings).  Kim contacted  Wagner Pediatric Dentistry and the North Shore Fire Department for donations of toothpaste, toothbrushes, and fire safety books. 

Our TOAM families met in the evening this week to assemble the bags. First, we read How Full is Your Bucket? and then we discussed all the different ways kids spend their summers in Milwaukee and how these activity bags would help keep kids entertained.

This might have been the most difficult pack we’ve done and we were so impressed by how the kids resisted the urges to play with the toys and packed them up for another kid instead. We’re so proud of all of them! 

Today, the bags were delivered to our partner school, Thurston Woods Elementary. We left the bags in the office with our well wishes for a relaxing summer for the staff and huge amounts of gratitude for letting us into their school once again. We can’t wait to see our Reading Buddies next fall and we hope all of them have a fun, active summer!