Tania K. Cowling is a former teacher, a published book author, and award winning freelance writer.
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Instill the value of community service projects in your students by encouraging them to give to and help others. There are many ways to do this in the classroom and at home.
During the holidays, this was a popular theme in my classroom, but students should understand that the value of volunteering can be year-round. Through projects, show the kids how they can gain an immeasurable feeling of satisfaction knowing that they helped someone or something.
I liked having bulletin boards in my classroom to emphasize our themes, and this was a great place to promote community service projects.
We started by creating a "Hands Up for Humanity" bulletin board for our volunteer lessons. On background paper, we drew a tree trunk and limbs. This was painted brown. With a sheet of green construction paper given to each child—you can alter the color if you want a fall or spring tree—my students traced and cut out their hands. As I discussed the many ways a person can volunteer or help a charity, each student selected one way they'd like to help others and wrote this idea on their paper hand. We attached all the hands to the branches of our painted tree. It became a tree of love, compassion, and caring for one another. Then, as a class, we tried to complete as many of the ideas as possible. Some community service projects called for help from parents and were done at home.
Another bulletin board idea is to create a large flowerpot in the center of your wall board. The children can write their ideas on their paper hands, as above, and add green stems and leaves to create flowers. Adhere the numerous flowers to the inside of the flowerpot and title this board "Helping Hands Make Us Grow."
The possibilities of community service projects are endless, and all can help others. What finer lesson could there be?