Sep 04 2009

Philanthropists for Change

Paradoxically speaking, is it possible for hunger and obesity to co-exist within countless numbers of American families? If so, what can you do to help your students become philanthropists for change by ending malnutrition and obesity for millions of American children? Curriculum supported community service projects provide students with the opportunity to become actively engaged in the learning process and develop leadership potential while increasing academic preparedness.

Derived from Ancient Greek, philanthropy means “to love people.” The act of donating goods, services, money, and time to support a socially beneficial cause at no material reward to the donor is the best gift one person can give to another.

Much has been written lately about the emotional, physical, and educational benefits associated with participating in global community service projects. The myriad of benefits are as vast as the aid organizations we seek to adopt. In order for children to become conscientious and productive members of society, they must be provided with engaging, meaningful, and relevant opportunities to develop a sense of civic responsibility. Not only will students benefit from increasing their knowledge base, but it will also help your students to develop respect for others, patience, tolerance, and compassion for people who may be different, leadership skills, and citizenship.

How many times have you heard your students ask, “Why do we have to learn this stuff anyway?” I must admit that these words also passed through my lips as a child, but why? If children aren’t afforded the opportunity to make real world connections to the subject matter we are asking them to learn, the material just won’t stick! In order for children to fully understand the relevance and benefits of establishing proper eating habits and adopting a lifelong fitness plan, often times they need to see the adverse effects to really  drive the point home. As teachers, we need to find a way to make the material personal and instill a sense of passion for learning within our students.

When devising a community service based project, you need to combine content material from a variety of disciplines in order to achieve success both academically and civically.

Remember, service based projects require teachers to educate and to motivate. Be a facilitator not a dictator!

4 Steps to Success-RIPA

Research and discuss the issues regarding childhood malnutrition and obesity

Identify the problems and needs within your own community

Plan an event to tackle the problems associated with childhood hunger and/or obesity

Act by implementing your plan and carrying it out to its conclusion

As educators, we frequently try to reinvent the wheel in an effort to come up with the greatest curriculum ideas of all time. However once you start surfing the internet, you will find out that great minds do think alike and somebody has already thought of your idea. As a result you have two choices. The first one is to use their curriculum exactly as they have written it, or you can infuse some of your own ideas and make it your own.  Why not save yourself some time and take a look at some of the following resources and decide what will work best for you!

Resource List

Service Learning Opportunities

Youth Service America

Learn and Serve

Youth Service Opportunities

Service Learning

Youth Venture

Childhood Hunger Organizations

Feeding Minds

Great American Bake Sale

The Hunger Site

Project Bread

Second Harvest

Fundraising Ideas


Posted in: Community,Teacher To Teacher