Learning to Give teachers are just like you. They know their students are capable and caring. They connect what kids care about to what they are learning, and give them a hook and context. Here are a few of the inspiring stories of teachers who used Learning to Give lessons to teach knowledge and action of generosity in community.
Jennifer Hightower - High School
Using the Disability Awareness toolkit as a teaching and learning resource, Ms. Hightower’s students learned about challenges and needs of people with disabilities. The 12th graders contacted a children's therapist at TheraPlay Pediatrics to ask how they could be of service. Students then collaborated to design and create weighted sensory blankets that they later coined the "Tinker Quilt." Read more about Ms. Hightower's student-led project here.
Ms. Biggerstaff is a 4th grade teacher at Harrison Elementary School in Indiana. “I feel that at this age and within this generation we see a decline in empathy and compassion,” said Ms. Biggerstaff. “I want to bring the needs of others to the attention of my students and show them that even at their age they can make a difference through their words and actions!”
Using the lesson, "Phil"-ing Good, Ms. Biggerstaff taught the meaning of philanthropy and read the book, A Chair for My Mother. “Students had lightbulb moments where they connected with the needs of the characters in the story,” said Ms. Biggerstaff. The class discussed how they could use their time, talent, and treasure to address a need in their community, which led to their service-learning project Cancer Care Packages. Read more about the students' learning and leadership here.
Joe Anderson - High School
Mr. Anderson teaches at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation in Indiana. Sparked by the lesson Lunchroom Recycling Plan, students were excited to improve and expand recycling into more areas of their school. They placed bottle-shaped recycle bins all over the school and taught others how to recycle responsibly. “Through this project, students learned skills they rarely ever have an opportunity to learn in a typical class. My students showed how they were able to communicate real life experiences when talking with others about their project, fundraising, grant writing, interpersonal skills, and more,” said Mr. Anderson. One student said, "It was cool to see the bottles actually in the cafeteria! Like when we started, I thought it was just a cool idea, but we actually did it!" Read more about Mr. Anderson's student-led project here.
Bambi Garrison - Middle School
This work gave them a true sense of their role in the community and society.One student now plans to host a bake sale to raise money for the local animal shelter. Another student observed, “I learned that the smallest change will go a long way in baking and the community. I felt very good about it. The best part is making and giving the cookies. I wouldn’t want to make any changes.” Read more student comments and project details here.