You Don't Have to Be OprahMy class had to present persuasive arguments to get their classmates to participate/donate/help raise awareness for charities this week.  So much was focused on...

You Don't Have to Be Oprah

My class had to present persuasive arguments to get their classmates to participate/donate/help raise awareness for charities this week.  So much was focused on "group" effort, which of course isn't bad, but after two solid days of seeing the great need for people and causes worldwide, everyone felt a little need-fatigued.

This morning, I was reading The Chronicle of Higher Education. An article about a "Campus Cop Turned Philanthropist" caught my eye.  Tilahun (Michael) Belay  fled Ethiopia with his mother (the only family member to survive the civil war) and eventually became an American citizen. 

Traveling back to Ethiopia in 2001, he was appalled at the still horrific conditions of the country and its children.  He used all his savings, fund-raised, started a charity called "Hands Accros the Planet to Poor Youth."  (See link.) Today, the school he built serves and feeds 350 children. 

So if you encounter the "What can one person do?" attitude in your classes, I think Mr. Belay is a shining answer. 

Do you try to get students to think beyond their own lives?  How do you do it and what successes (or failures) have you had? 

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In my school students have to do a certain number of hours of community service every year to pass each year and finally graduate. What I would like to see is a reflective journal that they have to write reflecting on what they have seen, learnt and done and relating that maybe to issues discussed in Socials.

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

You Don't Have to Be Oprah

My class had to present persuasive arguments to get their classmates to participate/donate/help raise awareness for charities this week.  So much was focused on "group" effort, which of course isn't bad, but after two solid days of seeing the great need for people and causes worldwide, everyone felt a little need-fatigued.

This morning, I was reading The Chronicle of Higher Education. An article about a "Campus Cop Turned Philanthropist" caught my eye.  Tilahun (Michael) Belay  fled Ethiopia with his mother (the only family member to survive the civil war) and eventually became an American citizen. 

Traveling back to Ethiopia in 2001, he was appalled at the still horrific conditions of the country and its children.  He used all his savings, fund-raised, started a charity called "Hands Accros the Planet to Poor Youth."  (See link.) Today, the school he built serves and feeds 350 children. 

So if you encounter the "What can one person do?" attitude in your classes, I think Mr. Belay is a shining answer. 

Do you try to get students to think beyond their own lives?  How do you do it and what successes (or failures) have you had? 

I'm on a committee at my college that has just begun exploring service-learning as a requirement in several classes.  Some of our professors already do this, so we're hearing from them about their successes and failures.  The successes they've had include increased awareness about the plights of others.  Failures include lack of participation if not required for the class.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I forgot when I wrote my first post that in order to graduate as a Tennessee Scholar, students must do community service. I can't remember how many hours or what counts as community service.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Our senior project is set up to incorporate the service/community project aspect.  They are required to choose a community service project that relates to the research topic and volunteer a minimum of six hours to that charity.  One young lady learned to quilt, and her product/service project is to make as many quilts as possible to donate to the charity Bags of Love which my mother runs at our church.  The group makes quilts and bags like laundry bags to fill with personal hygiene products, etc. to give to kids who are taken from their families because the parents are involved in something illegal.  The bags are all these kids have that belong to them since they aren't allowed anything out of the house (usually a meth or crack house).  It's a great cause and all of the kids who find a community service project they are passionate about are changed forever.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

My school has a new principal this year. His philosophy is that the school should be the leader in community activism and is requiring every club and organization to do some sort of service project. I'm adviser to three groups: French club, Quill and Scroll, and Yearbook.The French club is collecting pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House; Quill and Scroll participated in the Teens for Jeans charity through Aeropostale; we've been so busy in Yearbook that we haven't come up with a service project yet.

The interesting thing is that most of our students are from low-income families; around 40% are on free lunch. But these kids don't think of themselves as disadvantaged and are willingly taking part in all of the projects.

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