7380 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Gillispie School / Community Service  / ICARE Values During Tough Times

ICARE Values During Tough Times

Dear Gillispie Families,

Gillispie School has its roots in the notion of taking care of each other and giving back to the community. Our ICARE value system places emphasis on and provides the opportunity for demonstrating integrity, compassion, attitude, respect, and effort, and these values are never more important than when times are tough.

Gillispie’s Community Relations Committee, comprised of several Trustees and administrators, met recently to discuss ways in which we could best support each other and the broader community even as we are physically separated. The following are some of the opportunities we will soon be initiating:

1. Weekly Story-Time – Elementary students will read books aloud at a predetermined date and time each week, so that younger children – or anyone interested – can enjoy a virtual storytime. This will be a live opportunity but will also be recorded so that families can access a library of storytimes when it is most convenient for them. We hope to start this in the next few days.

2. Showing Our Love to the Residents of Chateau La Jolla – Our older adult neighbors are in such a difficult spot, not being able to leave their residence or to have visitors. Gillispie and Chateau La Jolla have long had a beautiful relationship, which we want to continue building during this time of physical distancing. Students are asked to write letters, poems, draw pictures, make cards., etc., and send these to Gillispie School (to my attention). We will deliver these letters once weekly and hope that our students show their creativity and big hearts as they share their artistic skills with our older friends.

3. Honoring Our First Responders – we will be identifying a local restaurant working hard to stay afloat and raise money so that it can provide a meal to our local police and fire departments. Details to follow.

4. Two of our Gillispie families are examining how we can partner with the Jacob and Cushman San Diego Food Bank to participate in a virtual food drive. Our hope is that this experience can engage our students in understanding what food insecurity is while involving them in the process of “raising money” and purchasing the food online. Are there chores your kids can do to “earn” the money to purchase food? Can they do jumping jacks, shoot hoops, or read a certain number of pages to “earn” this money? Will your family, together, make purchases from the Food Bank’s online store? We will provide more details on this opportunity in the coming

I have been struck by the kindness and creativity of everyday people, doing what they can to feel better and make others feel better. One example is Teddy Bear Windows, which simply make people smile as they walk in their neighborhoods. On my street, several children have engaged in “Chalk Talk,” drawing beautiful pictures and writing inspiring words on their driveways for all to see. Do you have other ideas? Do your children? We would love to hear these ideas from your families.

Please know we appreciate how extraordinary this moment is. We are faced with challenges we couldn’t have imagined just two months ago, but – hopefully – we are also experiencing some silver linings: more meals eaten together, relationships strengthened, time spent more creatively, fewer trips to the grocery store! Thank you for everything you are doing to take care of your families, our school, and our community.


Debbie Rodriguez
Director of Advancement

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