10-Minute Lesson: Secret Nanas

secret nanaIn the busy moments of the holiday season–or any season for that matter–it is helpful to have a quick lesson to pull out in the 10 minutes before lunch. In one of those times you might want to pull out the story of the secret Nanas. It provides inspiration for both generosity and creativity–both particularly appropriate this time of year.

The Secret Nanas are nine Tennessee business women with a glorious secret. They have be steathily offering help and support to people in their community for more than 30 years. It started with a determination to help their communities as their own grandmothers had, and a memory of MaMaw Ruth’s poundcakes. The cakes always appeared when there was a need or a loss, regardless of whether Ruth knew the nighbors. The Nanas began by saving their laundry money and donating it to those in need. They became a network of neighborhood spies-with-a-purpose. If they heard of a neighbor who had lost a loved one, had the electricity turned off, or lost a job, a secret care package would appear on the doorstep–including one of MaMaw Ruth’s special pound cakes. secret nanacakeFor decades, the women managed this routine of 4 a.m. baking and slealthy good works without even their families’ knowlege. Once the secret was discovered/shared, the families became involved and the mission expanded. The cake-baking enterprise moved out of the kitchen and into a commercial bakery. The proceeds continue to be used to support those in need, now exanded to a larger community. You can even buy MaMaw’s poundcakes online!

For your 10-minute lesson, tell or read the story of the Secret Nanas to your students. Then have them talk about how many examples of creativity and problem finding they can identify in the story. It is a fine example of the ways creative thinking continues and builds across time–and who knows what it may inspire!

happiness happens

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