Since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan two weeks ago, I’ve thought a lot about teaching children the importance of making contributions and volunteering all of the time, not just when a catastrophe occurs and relief efforts are all over the news.
Recently I discovered Learning to Give, a long-established website that helps children learn about volunteerism, giving, service learning, and civic engagement. The organization encourages parents, church leaders, and educators to make service learning and philanthropy a significant presence in the lives of children.
Learning to Give, which gets nearly half-a-million hits a month, features digital and downloadable resources for parents, teachers, and church leaders to use with children. Materials on the site include:
- Searchable lessons organized by age, topic, and type of giving.
- Literature guides connecting children’s books with giving and generosity.
- Monthly service toolkits filled with tips, project reports, and ideas for service projects.
- Character education information including suggestions for Raising Kids Who Give and Share.
- Lists and more lists with ideas for projects on wide-ranging topics.
- A searchable collection of over 1,200 quotations on values, character, philanthropy, values, and more.
Learning to Give has been around for a long time. The not-for-profit organization, started years ago by the Council on Michigan Foundations, has been evaluated and repeatedly recognized for its achievements as well as for developing a set of philanthropic standards that children should learn and understand.
My thanks to Learning to Give staff member Betsy Flikkema, who spent a generous amount of time on the telephone answering my questions.