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As parents, we want our children to soak in as much knowledge as possible early on. But nothing compares to our desire for our children to be good citizens of the world. Character skills like generosity and compassion are just as important to a child's development as learning key academic skills.
At Primrose, we believe who children become is as important as what they know. The concept of giving without expecting is woven through everything we do, including our curriculum. Every day, we nurture character skills in children through engaging lessons and classroom activities, and we provide opportunities for them to apply generosity and kindness in authentic and meaningful ways. We also break down concepts like compassion in a way that is age-appropriate and understandable through books, songs, role-playing and other parts of the daily classroom experience. Our commitments to giving back and to teaching children the joy of giving are essential to our mission: to forge a path that leads to a brighter future for all children.
Teaching Giving In and Out of the Classroom
Here are a few examples of how lessons in giving come to life at Primrose schools in the Atlanta area:
Og's Bountiful Books: Primrose children love reading, and we encourage them to share that love with others through our annual book drive. This year, Primrose staff, children and families from 15 schools in the Atlanta area donated more than 3,700 books to local charities such as MUST Ministries, North Fulton Community Charities, Reach Out and Read and various child advocacy centers.
Local Spring Fling Events: Teachers, staff, children and families host community-focused fundraising events and celebrations, which often include food, music, kids' activities and more. In 2017, Primrose schools in the Atlanta market donated $50,916.21 to Primrose Children's Foundation, which benefits Save the Children and emergency relief. The schools also donated $20,069.09 to local charities, including Bert's Big Adventure, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and various other local charities serving children in need.
Caring and Giving Food Drive: For this annual food drive, children earn money through chores to purchase canned goods, take shopping trips to grocery stores, deliver food to local food banks and learn how their efforts help their communities. Last fall, Primrose families and staff from 34 Atlanta-area Primrose schools participated in the 11Alive Can-A-Thon with 11Alive, Publix and The Salvation Army, donating nearly 50,000 cans to help those in need!
Primrose Day of Giving: This September, Primrose schools in Atlanta will come together for an area-wide volunteer day. Over 1,000 volunteers made up of teachers, parents, children, franchise owners and school staff will participate in a host of onsite service projects like making school literacy kits, writing letters to members of the military and assembling snack packs for children in need, just to name a few.
How to Raise a Compassionate Child
Raising compassionate children sounds simple enough; if you are caring, you hope it will rub off on your little ones. But research shows that while children may be wired for good, whether altruistic tendencies get nurtured as they grow is largely dependent on their interactions with people like parents, teachers and friends. Research also shows that it is never too early to start nurturing good character in children, and there are many ways for parents to help!
Model Good Behavior: Leading by example is a great way to instill good character traits, such as kindness and respect, in your children. They are constantly watching the adults in their lives for cues on how to behave and interact with others. Take modeling one step further by volunteering together. Your child will experience firsthand how good it feels to help others, and it will give you an opportunity to talk about caring and generosity.
Make It Routine: Build caring and kindness into your child's daily routine - a great opportunity for him or her to practice these skills. Integrate manners, kind words and actions into daily activities. Model manners at the dinner table, hold the door open for others, say please and thank you and always speak kindly and respectfully to other family members. At home, consider making it a dinnertime ritual to share one caring gesture each family member did or received that day, or have each person go around the table and say something nice about a family member or friend.
To learn more about Primrose Schools in the metro Atlanta area, visit PrimroseSchools.com/Atlanta.