In a time when anger is palpable at the national and global levels, teaching children respect and kindness can seem daunting. A new curriculum is here to help.
Created by The Forgotten International, the recently published Doing Good contains 10 lessons to coach children into becoming engaged, sympathetic citizens of the world.
“Our aim is to give educators, coaches, facilitators, and school administrators the tools they need to encourage young people to care for others and work to make the world a better place, not only for the time they are in school, but throughout their lives,” said Amy Schoenblum, outreach specialist for Doing Good, in an interview with Lady Freethinker. “This is no easy task! The Doing Good curriculum gently redirects a young person’s world view to one that fosters gratitude, compassion, and a hope to leave the world better for having been there.”
Through activities, homework assignments, videos and other projects, students are exposed to crucial global issues and work together on solutions as they create a purposeful life for themselves.
“The activities are designed to get students thinking and talking about the big topics of gratitude, compassion, empathy, consumption, and happiness—while at the same time learning about the problems of poverty near and far, and gaining a broader perspective about the world in which we live,” said Schoenblum. “The curriculum culminates in students applying their resources and skills to design and enact their own public service project to assist those in need, locally or globally.”
Volunteer work and learning how to make our world a better place is more important now than ever. We are living in the age of technology where, according to the Pew Research Center, about seven out of ten Americans use social media to interact with each another and entertain themselves.
“Young people–particularly those with resources–are often wrapped up in commercialism and self-involvement,” said Schoenblum. “They are spending more time on devices and social media than ever before. They do not necessarily understand the plight of those with less, or even recognize their own privileged status. Sadly, having access to “more” of everything is not necessarily bringing teens happiness, as shown in skyrocketing statistics about depression and anxiety. Doing Good is important because it helps young people see that by caring and getting involved, they can make life more meaningful and satisfying, for themselves and others.”
Schoenblum emphasizes the importance of learning to volunteer at a young age, so it becomes a habit and practice kids grow accustomed to.
“Taking compassion to a higher level by serving others is powerful stuff,” she said. “The sooner young people learn about the problems facing the world and experience the value of caring for others as part of a community, the more they can tap into this power, and the sooner they can join us in making the world a better place.”
The Doing Good curriculum is now available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nIfokA