A Read-In

K, 1, 2

Children learn facts about learning around the globe. They brainstorm and carry out an act of service that promotes learning locally or globally.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • define charity and philanthropy.
  • identify needs of learners across the globe.
  • identify a charitable organization.
  • discuss why people choose to give.
  • brainstorm acts of philanthropy to help others learn.
  • participate in a “Read-In” to promote learning locally and globally.

Handout is for teacher reference

Teacher Preparation 

In advance, preview the Handout, Education Facts Across the Globe. Highlight some of the facts that are appropriate to share with your students based on their experience and maturity. These facts were written for teacher background, but some may be paraphrased and shared with children to inform them of the variety of educational experiences and needs in the world.

  • community: a group of people that live, work, or play together, who have common interests, or who regularly interact with one another
  • charity: an organization whose purpose is to give aid to the needy
  • philanthropy: giving time, talent, or treasure or taking action for the common good
  • How did you feel after collecting the books to donate?
  • What impact do you think the donations will have on the people receiving the books?
  • Can one person make a difference? Ask students to discuss possible ways that they can share their ideas with children across town or across the world.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Share with children one or more of the education facts paraphrased from the handout Education Facts Across the Globe. (Example, Many children in the developing world cannot go to school because they must work to support their families.) Discuss how children feel about this fact. Ask whether they would like to help these children somehow.

  2. Tell the children that one reason some children do not learn to read is because they do not have access to books. Tell them about the program called "Room to Read," which provides books through donations to children in countries where school is not always available. This charity/nonprofit organization exists to help people for the common good.This means that everybody benefits when more people in the world are educated.

    • Introduce Room to Read, an organization focused on literacy and education, started by John Wood. You can learn more at http://www.roomtoread.org.
    • Some background information to explain: Mr. Wood traveled to Nepal and met many children who did not have access to school books and resources. Room to Read reaches many countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, and South Africa and provides them with these resources.
    • Ask students if they have heard of other countries that have issues with poverty and lack of education. Locate these places on a map. (Optional: Access the internet, newspapers, or a library to find out whether or not those countries have universal primary education.)
  3. Tell them that they have the ability to share their time or treasure (such as gently used books) with other children so they can go to school and learn to read. Ask, "Why would you want to help other children learn?" Discuss their responses.

  4. Askthe children to brainstorm things they can do to help children around the world learn to read. (Contact an organization, such as Room to Read or a local organization, to find out what kind of help they need.) Discuss their answers and make a plan. One project idea is for each child to bring in one or more gently used books. On a designated day, they have a read-in, at which they read the books brought in and then package them to be shared with an organization that will give them to children who need books. They may include a noteor drawings in the book(s) they donate.

Cross Curriculum 

Children hold a Read-In in order to gather books to donate to an organization that distributes books to children in need. Allow the students to help with the planning and specifics of the book drive and donation. Ideas: Each student brings to school one or more new or gently used books on or before the designated Read-In day. Everyone invited makes either a card or a drawing to go witha donated book. The cards should be written to the intended recipient of the books, and should be appropriate for someone of any sex, nationality, or culture. Cards and donated books may be wrapped and placed in a basket or nice bag. Children may help to find a nearby shelter or donation location of their choice. On the day of the Read-In, children may bring a pillow and wear comfortable clothes while they read the donated books. Make the Read-In area comfortable for reading. This may be in the classroom or a central location to raise awareness about children who don’t have the books, materials, or opportunities necessary for a proper education. For the Read-In time, children read the donated books and then package the donations to prepare to bring or send the books to the designated organization.

Philanthropy Framework

  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. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.13 Describe limited resources and scarcity.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.