Children learn sharing and compassion when they share with others they do not see. When children hear about people who are hurting or lost or sad, they want to do something about it. We get the chance to help them learn that ‘helping others’ is a very good thing.

In a prevWesley Chapel VBS 2012 Completed-6ious preschool, children were invited to bring a canned good as an ‘offering’ to our weekly chapel time which we donated to a local food pantry. In others, children made cards for the local nursing home, brought items for hygiene kits, sponsored a Compassion International Child, and collected items for Thanksgiving boxes and Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

Serving and helping others can be experienced when children race through the sanctuary with socks on their hands dusting the pews during S week, collecting leftover Halloween candy to be sent to our troops serving overseas and collecting socks and coats for local charities during the coldest months.

Never underestimate nor squelch the desire of a little person to reach out when he or she hears of a need. It’s a healthy way to respond to the hurts and needy of our communiWesley Chapel VBS 2012 Completed-38ties. And if we can offer many opportunities to our little people to go with their hearts and respond in a tangible way, we and the world will be the better for it.

We’ve filled plastic eggs with change during the season of Lent as we want to “Make A Change In the World This Easter” and donated the money to build an indoor bathroom for a school in Africa.  What kid doesn’t understand the need for a bathroom at school?  This year, we’re using a Lenten Penny Calendar to collect $$ to donate to the Brighter Future Children Rescue Center in Liberia, Africa.  We wrap plastic silverware in napkins with scriptures and words of encouragement for the local shelter, and trail mixes to a local breakfast station for the homeless.  Little people can make a huge difference in the world, one idea at a time.

I serve on tSmiles13he Executive Board of the Georgia Preschool Association as the Service Project Coordinator.  For the last two Annual Conferences, we’ve invited the membership to bring to the conference new or slightly used preschool-level books to be donated to ForeverFed, Inc.  ForeverFed has been helping to break the cycle of illiteracy in specific communities in Cherokee County, Georgia, by establishing mobile reading clubs for preschoolers and their non-English-speaking/reading mothers.   We know that illiteracy is passed along from parents who can not read or write and a mother’s level of literacy directly affects the literacy of their children. Tell one child that another has no books, and that child wants to do something about it.  Books

I’d love to hear how you are giving your preschoolers an opportunity to respond to the needs of your community. Email me at dedereilly@comcast.net and I’ll share your ideas here as well as in the next Georgia Preschool Association newsletter.

“Train up a child in the way he (she) should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

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