Why I want my students to be involved in volunteering and service, etc.
My parents have the hearts of servants and modeled volunteerism for my brothers and me. Philanthropy and volunteerism are ways we can share our Christian faith and the many blessings that we have been given. My husband has a servant’s heart as well; he sets an example for my family by showing more concern about the needs of others than his own. I try to help my students see the value of volunteerism as well. Service-learning and philanthropy help students develop the habit of volunteerism and can lead to a lifetime of helping others.
Tips for infusing philanthropy...
The "Reading Is for Everyone" service-learning project involved motivating readers in all grades of Immanuel Lutheran School to participate in a school wide and national reading challenge. Students were challenged with friendly competition and fun incentives to read more books and to share the joy of reading books with others through a "book drive" to collect gently used books for children in need. The books were donated to the Jackson County Clothing Center for distribution. While our book drive goal was to collect approximately 350 books, we were simply amazed to collect more than three times this amount. As a celebration, a popular author was invited to the school to speak to students.
I taught this LTG lesson
We started our discussions about literacy and philanthropy with the Learning to Give unit, “The Important Thing about Reading.” Through community needs survey, students were surprised to learn that there were boys and girls in our small town that had never owned a book of their own. This seemed to motivate them to find gently used books on their bookshelves at home that they could donate to the book drive.
How I adapted the lesson for my learners
We called our collection point, “The Treasure Cove,” and decorated it with a ‘pirate theme. Two eighth-grade boys spoke like pirates as they gave weekly updates on the collection and prizes; the student body and staff really enjoyed this. Other eighth graders organized prize drawings for reading and donation incentives. As a celebration for the challenge and book drive, Australian author James Phelan (The Last Thirteen series) spoke to students, staff, and other guests about his journey as an author and his love for reading.
The eighth-grade language arts students who set up the challenge and drive were really motivated to find ways to make reading fun for the younger readers in our school. The students from the entire student body were surprisingly eager to donate. The school staff was delighted with the student response to the book drive. The director of the center where we donated the books to was so appreciative, she came to our author celebration and was all smiles as she spoke about how the book drive books were popular items for the clients of the clothing center.