Deed 20: Inspiring 6th Graders to Volunteer

Posted: June 10, 2013 in Children, school

When I started this journey, I had two main goals: Complete 30 deeds and motivate as many people as I can to give back.  After an administrator viewed an article about 30 deeds, she contacted me to ask if I would speak to 6th graders at an event at Linwood Middle School (same school I went to as a kid).  To be honest, I was hesitant at first.  I mean, how in the world was I going to relate to 6th graders??  After giving it some thought, and realizing I could potentially impact over 400 children in a positive way, it turned out to be a no brainer.

The table at Linwood Middle School

The table at Linwood Middle School

The event was held in the library of Linwood Middle School.  There were about 6-7 tables set up around the library(trade show style) with other speakers.  There was a woman teaching sign language, a dog that was specially trained to help children with autism, Anthony Starego- a high schooler with autism that kicked the winning field goal and was featured on sportscenter(I remembered the story and was excited to meet him!) among others.  Each group of children spent 5 minutes or so at each table to listen and hopefully learn.

For most of the groups, I asked 2 main questions to the children.  The first question I asked was “What do you think it means to volunteer”? A lot of the responses were similar yet impressive.  Responses included: “to give back”, “to help”, “to work without getting paid”, “to do something kind”, “to do something that helps others in need”, etc.  The second question I typically asked was “Who here has volunteered and what have you done”?  I was pleasantly surprised and impressed that about 75% of the children had volunteered.  Some responses included: a student helping an older woman bag and carry her groceries, shoveling snow and doing yard work for elderly neighbors, a student selling candy around the neighborhood to raise money for Lupus research(his mom has Lupus), a few  children had volunteered for buddy ball(a program to help children with disabilities engage in various sports- I volunteered for this program growing up),  a number of children raised money for the “Pennies for Puppies” program among many others.

Good Deed Card

Good Deed Card

After asking a few questions and engaging the students, I told them a little bit about my story and gave them a small assignment.  They were all given cards (pictured to the right) and had to complete just one good deed before the end of the school year.  I am hopeful that I inspired at least a few of the children to give back now, and in the future!

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