Marc and Craig Kielburger founded Leaders Today to train and motivate thousands of young people each year, equipping them with the tools to make a difference. Leaders Today has administered leadership training programs for hundreds of schools, community groups and religious centers around the world. Moreover, Leaders Today organizes overseas volunteer spring break and summer trips to Nicaragua, India, Kenya and Thailand. These are some of their suggestions. Parents, Help Children Become Socially Aware
Teachers, Make Learning Interactive and Fun!
- Listen to your child: Allow your children to communicate their thoughts and feelings about what they've heard on the news or at school. This may involve setting apart some time each week for a chance for your child to speak to you one-on-one. In such a case, your job is to practice "active listening" and to not solve your children's problems; rather, empower them to be problem solvers. You can do this by asking strategic questions about their future, their ultimate outcome and what is morally right.
- Help identify your child's "gifts": It is crucial that a parent communicate to their children that they have a special gift or talent. Help your child identify their special abilities. Is your child a good athlete, artist, listener or friend? Encourage your children to celebrate their talents.
- Celebrate heroes: Set aside a time to learn about heroes on a local, national or international level. Tell your child about the people who inspire you. Learn about people in your community who are making a difference. Be inspired together.Volunteer:Now more than ever, youth are confronted with international problems. Parents, often trying to protect and shelter their children from negative images, indirectly teach children to close their eyes and hearts to the suffering of others. Allow your children to become a "global citizen" and volunteer together at a cause that allows them to use their special talents.
- Volunteer: Now more than ever, youth are confronted with international problems. Parents, often trying to protect and shelter their children from negative images, indirectly teach children to close their eyes and hearts to the suffering of others. Allow your children to become a "global citizen" and volunteer together at a cause that allows them to use their special talents.
- Discuss daily news items with your students in class.
- Have every student bring in an article discussing a social issue and present it to the class.
- Make watching the news a homework assignment and then quiz them on three main news stories.
- Run a homeroom challenge to see who can gather spare change, canned food or clothing for a cause that your students pick.
- Have a Charity or Non-Profit Organization Fair where activists and community groups set up a booth explaining their cause and the work that they do.
- Keep a bulletin board in the classroom for students to post newspaper clippings, community articles and volunteer opportunities.
- Allow students to organize fundraisers for a cause of their choosing and give them class time to work on the project.
- Each week, have a student give a presentation about an individual they admire. Add to the challenge by getting them to find youth heroes or heroes in your state/province
- Invite your Congressperson or State Representative to speak to your class about a pressing issue concerning youth.
- Invite guest speakers from various social movements and organizations to speak about their experiences and share their knowledge.
- For more ideas and projects, visit www.freethechildren.com or www.leaderstoday.com