Monday, December 2, 2013

‘Tis The Season

Certainly when we see all of the advertisements and preparations for the holiday season it reminds us that “’Tis the Season”.  The question becomes “’Tis the season for what?”  Certainly we can complete the line of the carol that states “Tis the season to be jolly! Fa la la la la, la la, la, la!”  This phrase speaks to the joy and happiness we should be feeling and also sharing with one another.  Yet around our communities and the world there are many who are not experiencing joy or happiness—so is there something that your youth could do to bring joy and a jolly feeling to others?

Perhaps this season is the perfect time for a community service or service learning project.  Both of these projects bring joy to both the person who is on the receiving end and those who are on the giving end.  In a community service project perhaps your youth could join with a local food or toy drive, take greeting cards to a community center for seniors (or even have them distributed by a Meals on Wheels program), decorate paper grocery bags for the local grocery store so everyone who makes a purchase also receives a wish for joy, or any number of other things that would benefit the neighborhood and the community in which they live.  When youth have completed the project be sure to have them debrief the experience.

If you choose to do a service learning project youth will identify a need—local or otherwise—that they would like to support.  Perhaps this is collecting books for a local homeless shelter, supporting a relief effort for the children in the Philippines who have been affected by the recent typhoon, or simply helping the school return lost and found items to rightful owners.  In a service learning project you will want to include some academic reinforcement (preparing flyers, calculating a budget, researching the many different relief efforts they could support) that helps to coordinate the project, and intentionally having the youth reflect on the learning and the project itself, including how they “feel” about the work.

This year consider how you can make the “fa la la la la, la la, la, la be something that will help your youth see themselves as more than a recipient and understand that all of us can help to bring joy to others and support the resolution to challenges.

To learn more about Community Service click on this link.    You will have the opportunity to view a C4K Class for frontline staff entitled Community Service.  This is one of over 400 teaching videos that C4K has available for frontline staff.  

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