Adding community service to a school curriculum is beneficial to children and our future in many ways. Classroom projects such as planting a garden, adopting a highway, or collecting food for families in need fosters teamwork among students, illustrates the importance of giving back, and helps children explore their local community and find out more about the world around them. Skilled teachers also use community service to explore topics in social studies, economics, civics, English, and more.
Community service doesn’t begin and end in the classroom, though. Once children return home to their families, parents can continue to foster caring for others and volunteering in the community. Parents then reinforce community service while also spending some special one-on-one time with their children.
Need some ideas to get started? Start here!
Go for a walk and pick up trash on the side of the road.
If the weather is nice, grab a garbage bag and go for a walk. Take your family dog, too! You will not only help the environment and your community, but you will also get exercise while chatting together. Better yet, you don’t need to schedule this activity!
Search for family-friendly volunteer opportunities.
Many organizations allow you to volunteer as a family. Pick a service activity your child doesn’t already participate in at school to add variety and illustrate the diversity of opportunities that are available. You may find new interests, and your children will bring that experience back to school to share with teachers and classmates. Even better, make this activity a regular (monthly or weekly) event, so that your family can establish a relationship with your charitable organization of choice.
Participate in a special event.
Is your community hosting a special day of service? Join other members to participate in an event drawing neighbors, classmates, and leaders. Being around a group of others committed to community service builds excitement in children and is a visual representation that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Create your own special event.
Your event doesn’t need to be large. Gather neighbors, friends, or family to host a BBQ to collect blankets for the homeless, raise money for a sick child, or collect food for the local food bank. The possibilities are endless, and your child will be part of the process from beginning to end.