Are You Teaching Students To Give Back?

Writing grants for your school or classroom is an honorable endeavor. Typically when you receive grant money, you are able to improve student performance in some problem area. Both students and teachers benefit from the grant money you were responsible for getting. You feel good about your part in the process because you are giving something back. In fact, you probably became an educator so you could give something back.

But do you and your school also teach students to give back? Do you give them the opportunity to feel good about deeds they do solely for the benefit of others? That quality is not taught in most homes these days. Maybe you could get grant money to start such a program at your school.

When I was a middle school principal, we initiated a program that made me more proud of our students than any other – and it had absolutely nothing to do with test scores. Our community services classes were a tremendous way to teach our students to give something back to their small town.

Every day students who were enrolled in our community services classes went to the primary and elementary campuses, nursing homes, sheltered workshops, and a variety of other environments specifically to volunteer, to help other people.

Yes, it took a lot of scheduling, and permission slips, and a good faculty sponsor, but the benefits to those students and to those they helped was immeasurable.

It seems our world is filled with a “me, me, me” mentality. That’s why I was so surprised by the huge popularity of this program, and the responsibility that so many students learned to shoulder without any gripes or complaints. In fact, this program was so well received by our students and the community that it was also put in place in our high school, and it is very unusual for a high school to adopt any program that is initiated in a middle school. We were so proud.

Are you teaching your students to give back? We are beginning to post more and more grants that can help you with the process. You will find a couple of them listed below. Don’t overlook an opportunity to give your students one of the greatest gifts you could ever give – that wonderful feeling we get when we sacrifice our time and ourselves for the good of others.
Write a few grants. Start a good program. You’ll be glad you did.