Jackie Joyner-Kersee
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify one local citizen who has helped the community through giving and/or service.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.1 Give examples of philanthropic traditions of diverse cultures.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
    3. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define and give examples of civil society sector corporations.
    4. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.

Learners will illustrate how Jackie Joyner-Kersee is a motivator for all persons, both as an athlete and a philanthropist.

PrintTwo Forty Minute Class Periods

The learners will:

  • define athlete as someone who participates in sports.
  • define philanthropy as giving of one’s time, talent and/or treasure for the common good.
  • define philanthropist as a person who gives of his or her time, talent or treasure for the common good..
  • identify the type of philanthropy given by Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
  • measure the distance of Jackie Joyner-Kersee ’s championship long jump.
  • The book Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Record Breaking Runner (see Bibliographic References)
  • Tape measure
  • Chalkboard and chalk
  • Poster paper and crayons
Home Connection: 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:(see Attachment One: School/Home Connection—Who’s a Philanthropist?)

  • Burby, Liza N. Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Record Breaking Runner. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1997. ISBN: 0-8239-5064-6
  1. Anticipatory Set:Ask, “How many of you like to run and jump? It’s fun. Do you know what an "athlete" is? (a person who participates in sports) Do you know any athletes?” Allow children time to share stories to further the understanding of the athlete concept.

  2. Explain that the class will read a book about a famous athlete. Read Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Record Breaking Runner (see Bibliographic References).

  3. After the story write the word “philanthropy” on the board. Under the word write three large Ts. Say the word philanthropy several times having the students repeat it. Ask, “Does anyone know what this big word means? It means giving of your time (point to one T), talent (point to the next T) and/or treasure (point to the last T).” Point to the Ts again saying giving of your time, talent or treasure for the common good. Check for understanding of time, talent and treasure. Talent is ability. Treasure is money or possessions.

  4. Ask the students to think back about Harriet Tubman. She was a philanthropist (a person who gives of her time, talent or treasure). Ask the learners if she gave of her time, talent or treasure. Conclude that she gave her time and talent. She risked her life and was good at leading people to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

  5. Rosa Parks was a philanthropist too. Ask the learners if she gave of her time, talent or treasure to help people. Conclude that she gave both time and talent too. She was arrested and that took a lot of her time. Her courage inspired many other people to become leaders in the civil rights movement.

  6. Jackie Joyner-Kersee is a philanthropist. Which T does she give? She gives her time, her talent and treasure (money) to help others. Refer back to page 22 in Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Record Breaking Runner (see Bibliographic References). She built a Youth Center in her home town (E. St. Louis, Illinois) so that children would have a place to study and play. She gives money to cities so they can build places where kids can play sports. When she was a child she played sports in a community center like the ones she helps cities build now.

  7. Ask the learners to name what they would like to be when they grow up. Explain that today Mrs. Joyner-Kersee goes all over the United States giving speeches. One of the things she says to the audience is, “The only person who can stop you from reaching your goals is you!” Distribute paper and crayons and ask the learners to draw a picture of themselves doing what they want to do when they grow up. Put the quotation on the top of each picture. Display the posters in a display case or in the hall as a reminder to other students that they must work to achieve their goals.

  8. Take the children to the gym or playground. Measure out 24 feet 3-½ inches. Show the students that this was the record distance that Jackie Joyner-Kersee set in the long jump. Let each child take turns doing the long jump and measuring how far they were able to jump.


Assessment is based on teacher observation of student participation and the completed posters.