CLASS ACT: HELPING KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL
The start of school can be exciting for kids, but also nerve-wracking. Yes, there is the excitement of reconnecting with friends and delving into fall sports, but it's mixed with fears of meeting new teachers, leaving the freedom of summer behind, and homework. Imagine the added stress of starting school without the tools needed to be successful, like a basic backpack. Add a "giving" aspect to your back-to-school rituals by doing one of these fun family-service activities.
- Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
WANTED: THE TOOLS KIDS NEED TO SUCCEED
Make a Difference.....
Pack a backpack! Many kids enjoy picking out new supplies to start the school year.
Help out local children who can't afford the supplies on the list by filling an extraback pack during your shopping expedition. (Check out this blog post to see how giving to others can calm back-to-school jitters.) If you're feeling ambitious, organize a school supply collection drive. Go to volunteermatch.org to find local organizations that are seeking school supplies, or ask your school district or a nearby social service agency for guidance.
Support students and teachers in need. Donorschoose.org lists a wide range of needed materials posted by public school teachers nationwide. Explore the site with your kids and together pick out the cause you'd like to support, whether it's art supplies, books or a classroom carpet.
Kids helping kids. Check out the organization Room to Read to learn ways your family can help students internationally. Host a fundraiser, spread the word about the issue of global education or simply explore what education is like in places like Asia and Africa.
BEING READY MAKES LEARNING EASIER
Talk About It.....
Feeling prepared for a new school year is an experience kids of all ages can understand. As you discuss these changes with your children, add these questions to the conversation.
How do you feel on the first day of school? How might you feel if you didn't have the supplies you needed?
Why is it important to be prepared for school?
Can you think of things you did over the summer, like use maps or read a book, that helped you be prepared to study?
Who or what helps make learning easier for you?
What are ways we could help all children get the education they deserve?
Learn About It.....
I Am Absolutely Too Small for School by Lauren Child. (Ages 3-7.) Lola thinks she is too small to start school, so her big brother, Charlie, takes it upon himself to convince her otherwise.
Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes. (Ages 9 and up.) Exploring 23 schools in 14 countries, this book provides a look at where children from around the world attend school.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
- Nelson Mandela