Why I want my students to be involved in volunteering and service, etc.
“Seeing the joy of residents at a nursing home I visited made me want to do more for others.” Philanthropy education and service-learning has changed my way of thinking and teaching. I used to think that I had to be the authority on all lesson topics and give students what they needed to learn, instead of sharing the learning experience together. Now we dream together of the best ways for making our school and community better places. We often run out of class time before students run out of ideas.
Tips for infusing philanthropy...
The third graders previewed, rated, and advertised books from the Learning to Give Bibliography of Philanthropic Literature to promote a love of reading at school. Third grade students felt empowered when selecting books for the library they set up, and to read to their kindergarten buddies. Students advertised and built excitement for the soon-to-be library by displaying in the hall covers of books along with handwritten book talks. Whispers of excitement could be heard as students read what another student had written about a book. One young girl said, “I can’t wait to read that book” (Those Shoes). Third grade students were anxious to take responsibility for being the class librarian, which included selecting, collecting, and re-shelving the books.
I taught this LTG lesson
For the Caring Through Sharing Library project, we used the lesson "What Is a Philanthropist?" to help students recognize that anyone can be a philanthropist. Even kindergarteners!
How I adapted the lesson for my learners
Service-learning projects are just a beginning to open the door for students and teach more than was ever written in a lesson plan. The projects help students feel empowered. Students often know what needs to be done, but need help getting started.
Through the philanthropy lessons, the students feel that they have a voice and the power to make a difference. Examples: A student expressed concern about litter and graffiti at the park he and his siblings often visited. When we wrote a letter to the parks department, the city park architect visited our classroom. This led to our school joining forces with our city in the annual Great American Cleanup. Students arrived early at school to hand out daffodils to every adult working in our school building. Students give up recess time to collect trash, weed beds, plant flowers, or move equipment during our Spring school cleanup. Jimena: “You can share (your) treasure with each other and talents.” Noelia: “Instead of being mean you can be nice. Pass it on to other people so when they grow up they can be nice to their kids.” Davion: ”You can do good things and not get any money for it.”