Translate this page
Spending quality time with senior relatives is one way kids can learn the value of volunteering.
Spending quality time with senior relatives is one way kids can learn the value of volunteering.

Teaching children to volunteer

Thursday, November 15th, 2012
Issue 46, Volume 16.
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.

NORTH COUNTY ‚Äď Volunteering is a great way for people to give back to their communities. Itís also a great way for parents to instill character in their children.

When kids volunteer, they learn lessons about responsibility while also learning how enjoyable it can be to help the less fortunate. Kids who volunteer early in life are more likely to do so throughout their lives, and that lifetime of service can be invaluable.

The right volunteering opportunity for a child often depends on the childís age, as some opportunities are better suited to younger children while others are tailor-made for teenagers.

The following are a few age-appropriate ideas that can help get kids excited about volunteering and giving back to their neighborhoods.

Elementary school children When kids reach elementary school, parents should introduce them to volunteering. Volunteering activities for school-aged kids should be simple, such as accompanying their parents to food banks where kids can help feed the homeless and less fortunate. Kids with grandparents living in assisted living facilities can read to residents at the facility or bring them homemade arts and crafts or even foods they helped prepare (just be sure to clear any items with the facilityís medical staff before distributing). These tasks are simple, and kids wonít feel nervous when accompanied by Mom and Dad.

Middle school children When kids reach middle school, they might not feel itís necessary for Mom and Dad to tag along as much. This is perfectly alright, and itís a great time for kids to branch out and choose some volunteer activities of their own. Instead of accompanying kids to the food bank, let them work a shift on their own. Kids who have been volunteering since early childhood might have some volunteering goals of their own by the time they reach middle school, so donít insist they continue with current activities if thereís something else sparking their interest. Kids might want to help an elderly neighbor around the house, such as shopping for groceries or taking care of their property. Encourage such ideas, and expect kids to want to exercise some independence when they reach middle school.

High school students High school students tend to have busy schedules, but those who have been volunteering since childhood will likely find a way to continue doing so. Teenagers tend to have more specific interests than younger children, and parents can encourage teens to incorporate those interests into their volunteering. For example, kids who love sports might be able to work with the local sports and recreation center to coach younger athletes. Or kids who excel in the classroom can tutor younger students.

Volunteering can look good on a high school studentís resume when the time comes to apply for college, but parents should be careful that their high school-aged children donít stretch themselves too thin with extracurricular activities. Encourage volunteering but not at the expense of schoolwork.



arrow Be the first to share your opinion on this article!

Add your Comment


Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.


The Fallbrook Village News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter

Advertisement for Stellar Solar


Most Commented

Reach Local Customers

The Fallbrook Village News The Fallbrook Village News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2015
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds