giving back

Service: How to Help Others by Reading

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Many of you may be starting to feel the increased pressure of summer approaching, with Teacher Appreciation duties, end-of-school-year responsibilities, and summer activities to plan. However, I hope you'll still take a moment each day to incorporate a little bit of service, for both your benefit and others'. This week's Season of Service challenge is to find ways to serve with reading. We've talked about this a bit before. Here are some more bite-size ideas to add to the list:

10 Bite-Size Ideas for Helping Through Reading

  1. Ask your child's teacher if, during Teacher Appreciation Week, your child and his or her classmates can do one 30-minute to 1-hour long service project for the teacher, whether it be cleaning the classroom windows and desktops, organizing files, or taking out the recycling bin. It is often through bits of service, done as a team, that the kids better understand their teachers and the work they do. Consider reading to the class as they work, or hiding large word strips around the classroom for the kids to find by cleaning/organizing and can put together to read a rewarding message.
  2. Contact your schools' PTA representative and volunteer to help out for an hour or two on Field Day.
  3. Find out when and where the next Taste of the Nation Culinary Event is taking place (they take place all over the country), and attend one, making sure to read the menu.
  4. Go to Scholastic or Amazon right now, and let each of your kids choose two new books that they'd like to read. Choice is often a strong motivating factor in getting kids to read.
  5. Visit your local library with your kids, or if you don't like your local library, find out if there is a better one from which you can purchase a library card. Consider spicing your families' visit up by thinking of several book titles beforehand that they can locate, and then solve a puzzle by rearranging the words of the titles or find a few words in each book to put together and make a fun message.
  6. Read these tips on how to monitor your teen's online activities.
  7. "Like" your favorite author's Facebook page.
  8. Tweet or write a blog or Facebook post about how reading or literacy has blessed your life.
  9. Donate $10 through to help purchase some Sammy Keyes books for Ms. Chamberlain's fifth-grade Florida classroom, to help them get up to grade-level reading skills.
  10. Have every member of your family write up a "job description" listing what they have to do every day. Your tween's list might have items like: "getting dressed for school on time," "making my bed," and "getting my homework done." Your three-year-old's might list "going pee on the potty," and "putting on my shoes." This is their opportunity to list as much as they want, in either pictures or words. Write up one of your own for yourself if you want to. Then, around the dinner table, have everyone swap and read each other's lists.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • Have you ever done any of these things? How did it go?
  • What other acts of service have inspired you?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week’s challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week’s challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.


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