Philanthropy and the Great Society What Can We Do Today?

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will come to an understanding of philanthropy by studying the successes and failures of the War on Poverty as a component of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. They will participate in a service activity based on reflections of current community needs and foundations and agencies identified in Lesson One: Hmmm — What is Philanthropy? and Lesson Two: Hunger Hurts.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintFour Forty-Five Minute Class PeriodsAdditional time must be scheduled for site visits to local agency(ies).
Objectives 

The learner will:

    • analyze both the civic and governmental responsibility to address poverty in the U.S.
    • define and discuss community capital.
    • use developed vocabulary:

needs assessments, infrastructure, community service, reflection.

    • successfully demonstrate content and concept knowledge related to the War on Poverty in the 1960s.
    • examine the role of philanthropy in providing a safety net beyond governmental social welfare programs.
    • conduct a needs assessment and evaluate the results prior to planning a service project.
    • plan and conduct a service learning activity relating to poverty and hunger issues.
    • participate in multiple forms of reflective activities.
Materials 
Home Connection 

Attachment One: Great Society Guided Practice Activity.

Bibliography 
  • Active Citizenship Today: Field Guide. CA: Constitutional Rights Foundation, 1995. ISBN: 0932765580. This five-chapter book for students details the idea of being an active citizen in a community through service learning components.
  • Digeronimo, Theresa. A Student's Guide to Volunteering. NJ: Career Press, 1995. ASIN: 1564141705 Guide for young people to help them to begin to work in areas of service.
  • Lewis, Barbara A. The Kid's Guide To Service Projects. MN: Free Spirit Publishing, 1996. ISBN: 0915793822 Guide to over 500 service projects and organizations involved in serving, for young people.

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Learners will recall the definitions of philanthropy and discussion of why philanthropy is necessary in a democratic society. Ask them to recall the agencies and foundations, types of foundations they have learned about. Tell them that the following brief activity will allow them to discover their attitudes and feelings regarding poverty and hunger. Designate one side of the room "true" and one side "false". Ask the learners to move to a side in response to the statements. Remember, give the learners a time limit to move from side to side and keep a tally of the numbers supporting or disagreeing with each statement.

  2. Learners will agree or disagree with the following statements by moving to a designated side of the classroom: A) People are poor because they are lazy.B) When people are poor, the government should provide assistance.C) It is the responsibility of citizens to provide a safety net of services for the people whose needs are not met by government assistance.D) There are people in our community that need help.

    • Call the class together as a group and ask them where people who need help go today in their community. Responses should indicate retention of knowledge gained in Lesson One: Hmmm — What is Philanthropy?
    • Assign the portion of their United States History textbook that deals with Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. Give each learner a copy of the guided practice, labeled Attachment One: Great Society Guided Practice Activity.
    • Teacher will ask the learners in class discussion to explain the historical roots of Johnson's Great Society through his War on Poverty Programs as defined in their American history textbook. Ask specifically about: A) Food StampsB) MedicareC) School Breakfast ProgramD) Head Start
    • For homework, arrange learners into groups of four to find the following information, using the referenced web pages or information from the school media center or public library about the programs identified above. A) Qualifications for assistance?B) The number of recipients of each program? Nation______ Our State_______C) The amount of money being spent in each programD) Current legislation or proposed legislation and the changes proposed?E) Where to obtain these programs in their community or closest location to them?Class Session TwoPrior to session the Instructor is to view information at http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/census/cphl162.html and develop a sheet of information with the statistics on poverty in the United States since 1960. It is advised that you produce the information from 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 in table form.Anticipatory Set: Place four large sheets of paper around the room. Have each group go to a sheet with the name of their program written on the top. Have the groups place the answers to the five questions. Have a reporter from each group share their findings with the entire class.
    • Ask learners if they believed Great Society programs succeeded in eliminating poverty.
    • Distribute statistical information on poverty since the 1960s (see teacher referenced Web page at http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/census/cphl162.html ): A) Discuss the extent to which the Great Society succeeded in eliminating poverty.B) Why was the U.S. government unable to eliminate poverty?C) What in the infrastructure was failing?D) Ask the learners to connect recessions to unemployment and poverty. Discuss the economic recession of the Sixties. E) Explain to the class that unemployment compensation during recessions is extended for thirteen-week intervals by legislation. Relate the recession after 9/11 and how Congress extended unemployment compensation to help stimulate the economy.F) Can this really help? G) How does the private sector (business) provide for those who fall through the safety net? What is their responsibility? Bring discussion around to the role of philanthropic/nonprofit organizations in addressing social services in the United States. H) Have learners brainstorm a list of nonprofit organizations that address poverty (e.g., Salvation Army, United Way, or local soup kitchens). Have them recall their findings from Lesson One: Hmmm — What Is Philanthropy?
    • For homework, assign each student to research a nonprofit organization in her/his community that addresses poverty. Learners should come to class with a one-paragraph summary of the organization.Class Session ThreeCompletion: Service-LearningAnticipatory Set: Ask the learners to brainstorm ways they can give of their time, talent or treasure for the common good by applying the elements of philanthropy and their knowledge gained about hunger and poverty to their community. Needs assessment: Have the learners determine a method to find out the needs to alleviate hunger within their community. They may write letters to the agencies and foundations they wrote about to find the needs of the organization. They may conduct phone interviews. It is important that the learners themselves conduct this survey. Census materials may be helpful, local faith-based organizations should also be contacted. In some states community foundations may be very useful as sources of information.Plan the Activity: Student Voice is critical to success of your activity.Apply information: Have the learners divide into groups. Use the needs assessment to propose a service activity that can be completed within a reasonable amount of time. An example may be that a local food bank needs boxes of cereals, baby formula or canned meats or vegetables. Lead learners to reach a specific and reasonable goal, which can be concluded in the allotted time frame the instructor has set.Select, after evaluating proposals from the various groups' plans, the best one for the class. Secure proper authorization from district and/or administration and notification to parents of the activity.Contact the agencies, emphasizing that this cannot simply be collected money but the learners are expected to "shadow" the work of the agency for a period of time, work to process collections, serve clients or work in distribution.Conduct the activity: Your class may have decided to collect dry foodstuffs or based on the time of year, they may do holiday collections. Remember that food banks get the bulk of their donations at holidays and the need is all year long.Instructor Note: Service learning is learner driven. Student voice is critical at all stages. While the preceding is given as example, there may be other activities needed. One need may be building containers or storage units. While, a food bank, the agency may need children's books. You design the activity based on identified need.Reflection: Reflection is an on-going process, which helps learners focus, direct and evaluate their service-learning experiences. Remember to allow learners to reflect in several different ways involving several of their multiple intelligences. All creative arts are excellent expressive ways to reflect.Pre-Service: What do they intend to do and the expected outcomes? Journals, drawings, flow charts, tapes, and videos. Have the learners express their feelings toward the activity. How do they think they will act altruistically? How will they be acting as a philanthropist?During Service: Begin a record of all their activities with captions and/or drawings which can be kept as a scrapbook, computer generated book with photos, PowerPoint® type presentation. Learners should include activities as well as feelings and evaluations.Post Service: Compare what the learner had expected to what was done. Positives and negatives should be included. The recipients' views should also be recorded.Celebration: Learners should receive local school certificates of appreciation for their volunteer service. Your local school may participate in the Presidential service program where learners receive certificates for hours of service.
Assessment 

Instructor Note: Service itself is never assessed or evaluated because service is an action of the heart. You should evaluate all planning activities and all research, but not the actual service. Learners write a journal entry answering the opening question: Why is philanthropy necessary in a democratic society? Instructor-designed test on content required from text on Great Society. Evaluate Attachment One: Great Society Guided Practice Activity. Reflection activities are recorded. Teacher observations. Class participation in discussions.

Cross Curriculum 

Based on discoveries made in Lesson One: Hmmm — What is Philanthropy? and Lesson Two: Hunger Hurts in this unit, and findings in this lesson, learners will design and participate in a service learning activity. Learners will identify an agency within their community or neighboring community, assess the need, and design an activity with essential elements for effective service learning.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify an example of failure in each sector, and how the other sectors modified their roles in response.
    3. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify how subgroups and families in society demonstrate giving, volunteering, and civic involvement.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.11 Analyze the impact of volunteerism on the economy of communities.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Give examples of how civil society sector giving by individuals and corporations can impact communities.
      3. Benchmark HS.9 Analyze a major social issue as a "commons problem" and suggest ways the civil society sector could help to resolve it.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.11 Discuss the concept of corporate citizenship and corporate responsibility for the common good.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.
    3. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Set a fund-raising goal and identify sources of private funds.
    4. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.