Give an Award
Celebrate someone you admire.
Everyone enjoys being recognized for their unique contributions to the lives of others. Put your creative talents to work designing unique awards for the everyday heroes in your lives.
Brainstorm a list of people whom you admire. Who do you find fascinating, remarkable, inspiring, or honorable? Consider celebrating a grandparent or senior friend for all that they add to your life.
What you'll need
- Our Big-Hearted Awards Templates
- Decorating supplies: markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Scissors (optional)
- Contact paper (optional)
- Choose who you will celebrate with your award.
- Discuss the qualities and contributions that led you to your choice.
- Give your award a unique name. Consider "Nash Family Medal of Honor" or "Most Inspiring Grandma Award," or brainstorm your own creative ideas.
- Decorate your award, and write its title in the blank circle.
- Come up with at least three questions you'd like to ask your award recipient to learn more about their personal history. For question ideas, visit StoryCorps's frequently asked questions. This national nonprofit is dedicated to the idea that every story matters.
- If you'd like, cut out your award and seal it between two sheets of clear contact paper.
- Give your completed award to the person you are celebrating, perhaps along with some chocolate or a plate of cookies. Be sure to share your reasons behind the award.
- Ask your questions and listen closely to the stories your award recipient shares. Consider recording your interview using the StoryCorp app.
- Think back through the past week. How many times did someone encourage or praise you? Do you think grown ups - like parents and grandparents - receive as much encouragement?
- How do you think your award recipient will feel (or felt) receiving your gift?
- What are some other ways we can celebrate everyday heroes in our lives?
- If someone were to celebrate you with an award, what would you like to be recognized for?
- The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Kathryn Brown (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2000). When a lonely old woman meets a stray dog, she refuses to bond with it in the fear that it will die before she does, and she will lose another friend. This funny and touching story encourages readers to understand and sympathize with the trials and tribulations of getting older.
- Wilfred Gordon McDonald Patridge by Mem Fox (Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 1989). A young boy who lives next to a nursing home befriends the residents. This tale shows the beauty of relationships between young and old.
- Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray (Aladdin, 1998). Children in the neighborhood love Miss Tizzy, and when she becomes ill, they devise ways to show her how much they care.
Take It Further
- Watch this animated introduction to the StoryCorps mission, then use the StoryCorps App to record an extended interview with an senior friend or relative.
- Feeling crafty? Create a trophy or a medal to accompany your award. Find inspiration on our "Give an Award" Pinterest Board.
- Tell your story. Young children often enjoy hearing stories about themselves when they were very young. Or you may want to tell stories about volunteer experiences your family has had in the past, as a reminder of the fun, meaningful times you've had.
- Encourage your children to talk to others about their volunteer experiences, both formally and informally.
Still looking for a meaningful family kindness project? Check out these creative ideas.