What could be more daunting than trying to teach the concept of philanthropy to a bunch of 5 year olds? Having to go after the parents that work at Kraft and who had the kids make their own Oreo cookies! This was the conundrum I was up against a few weeks back when my child’s kindergarten teacher extended an invitation for all the parents to come in and talk about our careers. Considering what I was up against, it went great.
First, taking a cue from some lesson plans I found online, I introduced the word philanthropy. We talked about how it means to share your time, talent and treasures for the common good. All the kids got a chance to answer the question “I’m going to be a philanthropist because I’m going to …” They did a great job and had some thoughtful answers.
Next, I read them the book Strega Nona’s Harvest. One of the characters builds a secret garden and anonymously donates the vegetables he grows to Strega Nona. She doesn’t know what to do with all the extra food. When she finds out that everyone else in town had a poor crop yield, she decides to have a feast and feed all her neighbors. The kids like the story.