It’s time to hit the books and pack a backpack! The end of summer vacation is coming (or has already arrived!) for millions of students. There’s a focus on renewal, new journeys, and anticipation of learning to come. That’s why the back-to-school season is the perfect time to also focus on teaching altruism! Check out these six tips to discover how to incorporate altruism during back-to-school activities, no matter what stage of life you’re in!
If you have a little one going back to the classroom, ask about volunteer initiatives that are planned for the year. If they don’t exist, ask if the teacher would be willing to let you help plan. When we teach our younger students the importance of volunteering and giving back at an early age, it helps instill these values for life. It’s never too early to teach about giving back!
Many children will be going back to school but may not have the funds to buy the necessary school supplies. If you can help, buy some extra supplies this year and donate to a classroom. Many fundraisers also exist to help clear teachers’ wish lists, too! You could even organize a fundraiser in your community or with your friends to help multiply your efforts. Our “Pay It Forward” Pantry at the Fort Worth Office is available for you to drop off school supplies as well!
With a fresh school year comes new students who may be looking for somebody they can look up to and who will guide them as they continue to learn and grow. Look for mentorship organizations or speak directly with the school to see if mentorship programs exist where you could sign up. Oftentimes, you’ll get just as much out of the mentorship program as the student you’re pouring into!
All classrooms have one thing in common: they need books! No matter the age, no matter the grade, books are an important part of the classroom experience. Look on local social media groups or speak with schools directly to see what types of books may be needed for the coming year. Meet up with friends to go out and buy some new or gently used books to help stock classrooms!
Even if you don’t have school-aged children, you can still help our youth get involved by learning more about local programs available for student volunteers. Schools will usually do a school-wide giving initiative or classrooms will have a volunteering day or giving component. If you have an organization you love, consider asking them if they have approached schools with the idea of involving kids for a day of giving back to the community.
Whether you have children going back to school or you’re simply looking for a time of renewal, use the fresh fall season as a reminder to set goals for the coming year. Include altruistic ideas that you hope to achieve in the coming months. Perform a number of random acts of kindness. Raise a certain amount of money for your favorite charity. Focus on your personal health by committing to running a specified distance. Think about personalizing the goals and lining them up with who you want to be and what you want to work toward.
No matter how you choose to incorporate altruism during the back-to-school season, remember that the ultimate goal is to facilitate healthy, mindful avenues of growth for kids. At EmpathyHQ, we understand the importance of equipping children with the necessary skills to navigate the ups and downs of life.
Our After School Program is designed to help children ages 0-17 learn how to manage their emotions, develop effective coping strategies, and seek support when needed. With a focus on fostering emotional intelligence and resilience, we provide a safe and supportive space for children to grow and thrive. Learn more at https://www.empathyhq.org/alliance-afterschool
Back-to-school time can be a learning experience for everybody, even if you don’t have school-aged children. It’s a time to remember that no matter where you are in life, you can continue to learn! Consider donating supplies, linking up with a local organization, or helping to shape the youth in your community. These kids are our future!