Thanks so much to Jodie from Growing Book by Books for sharing her tips for how to help her kids learn the value of service using books!
One of my all time favorite book lists on What Do We Do All Day? is the 17 Books to Inspire Kids to Change the World. I'm not alone. The list has been viewed by tens of thousands of people.
During the winter holidays a few years ago, I realized that I was doing a nice job of teaching my children about the true meaning of the season. We dropped coins in the red kettle, took cookies to the neighbors and randomly left kind notes in public places. I was helping my kids learn about changing the world one small act at a time. (Note: this post contains affiliate links.)
But, then January rolled around and we fell back into "a less giving" mode. It didn't sit right with me. I wanted my kids to be kind and make the world a better place year round. So, I decided to do some intentional planning and designed twelve different service projects inspired by books that we could do as a family. I documented our year-long journey in the E-book, Read, Create & Share.
Books and literacy are near and dear to my heart. Erica's book list has some great books about librarians and books (Tomás and the Library Lady and The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq.) So, today I wanted to share with you 7 ways that kids could change the world through books and reading.
7 WAYS TO GIVE THE GIFT OF READING
- Read to a younger sibling, friend or neighbor. Let your child pick his favorite book to share with a younger child. Encourage lots of oral reading practice before the experience to work on fluency and getting the character voices perfected.
- Leave a book for a stranger. Place a new or gently used book in a plastic bag with a handwritten note about why you are leaving the book to be found. Or, include a small gift card for a cup of hot chocolate along with this free printable note.
- Show appreciation to a favorite librarian. Everyone loves to feel appreciated and valued. Make a librarian's day by dropping off a small bouquet of flowers, a chocolate treat or a heartfelt letter at your local library.
- Donate books (used or new) to a Little Free Library. Chances are there is one in your town. Anyone can visit a Little Free Library, stop, and borrow a book. When they are done, they return it or another book for others to read.
- Don't just donate to a Little Free Library. Build a Little Free Library! People all over the world are spreading a joy of reading by building small libraries for others to enjoy. As of January 2016, there were over 36,000 Little Free Libraries.
- Make bookmarks. Design bookmarks that can be tucked inside books at the library or left at the library counter for others to take. Try these Postage Stamp Bookmarks or Paper Clip Bookmarks.
- Raise money to fund a literacy project. Donors Choose is a wonderful organization that helps educators fund projects for their classrooms. You can filter the requests by state, city or school and can specify literacy projects. Read through the innovative ideas and pick one to help fund. Your child could run a lemonade stand, save their allowance or request donations instead of birthday gifts to help collect the money.
This is just a start. Brainstorm with your child for other ways to spread a love of reading with others.
To learn more about service projects that you can do with young children, check out my book, Read, Create & Share. You will find 12 books, 12 creative projects and 12 service/sharing ideas to do together to make a difference in the world.
Jodie Rodriguez has a passion for helping caregivers nurture our youngest readers. As a former National Board Certified early-childhood teacher and administrator, she has worked with thousands of families and educators providing best literacy practices. She is the creator/founder of Growing Book by Book. She also shares on Facebook and Instagram.