Getting Involved - Teaching Our Children How to Be Better Global Citizens

The Free the Children organization has developed a way for families, schools, and individuals to get involved in changing the world for the better. Their programs are designed to help kids become global citizens and look beyond themselves to those children in need elsewhere.

Their 10 by 10 project asks people to list 10 ways they are going to change the world. Just by listing your 10 ideas you will start to take steps at being a global citizen. In return a $10.00 donation will be made by Aviva to help 10 children.

Their family programs provide ideas and support for families to work together to do something to help others in adopted villages. The kids and I will be discussing what we want to do to change the world.

The school programs are the most extensive programs they have. They offer resources for the classroom, speakers for assemblies, and mentors for the children.

I know that my kids teachers have already planned out their curriculum but I want to ask them to look into this program for the kids. Even if its an extra curricular activity for those students that are interested. I am hoping that my son will take up the cause and help to make it a reality in their school. It is a leadership opportunity for him that will teach him more then any book can.

The school is amazing at teaching the kids about being stewards and taking action for others. So far this year they have partnered with Artist's Response Team to teach stewardship for the environment; with Right to Play to teach stewardship for children in the 3rd world who don't have sports equipment; with a local women's shelter at Christmas to teach giving; and with an organization that is helping Haiti to teach them about responding to an emergency. All these programs effect the children and help them become better caring citizens.

Charity and giving make a lasting impression in children, especially when their parents are a part of it. A few weeks ago my daughter (7 yrs) and I had a special mom and daughter day in Vancouver. It was filled with amazing moments and fabulous memories but the one that my daughter kept talking about was when she gave. After lunch we left the restaurant with a full doggy bag of a meal not touched. We passed a homeless man and I stopped and asked if she would give the man our doggy bag. She lit up and as she offered it to him so did he. Everyone standing around waiting for a bus had huge smiles for her - I asked her how she felt and she was "happy." The feeling of giving, of doing something for someone else is something every child should experience.

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