Five-Star Program for Pre-Kindergarten, Preschool, Toddler and Infant Education located in Greenville, NC.

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Service Learning: Best Kid-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities in Greenville

You’ve never too young to make the world a better place. By gently teaching kids about age-appropriate community issues and giving them an opportunity to volunteer, you empower them to make a difference and tackle social problems head on. Plus, hands-on volunteering teaches self-reliance, motor skills, responsibility, and kindness.

Even if your child is too young to go volunteer on-site, Preschoolers and Elementary students have fun with classroom volunteer activities, like creating cards for the elderly, goody bags for kids in the hospital, or treats for animals in shelters. They learn compassion for people in need, while also exercising their own power to help. Here are four easy activities kids can do in the classroom or at home with their parents, that directly benefit Greenville, North Carolina non-profit organizations.

1. Ronald McDonald House of Eastern NC

Greenville NC Preschool

The Ronald McDonald House provides a comfortable home-away-from-home for families who must travel to be near expert medical care for children with illnesses. It’s easy to feel helpless when facing something as difficult as terminal illness or cancer, but volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House allows kids to make a difference in the lives of kids just like them!

Explaining Illness to Children

For younger children, simply explain, “Some children are very sick, and their mommies and daddies are sad. So they move to be near a hospital to take care of them. But we can help make them feel less sad by making sure they have toys and games, cards and blankets, to cheer them up and make them feel better!”

Classroom or At-Home Service Project

Preschoolers and Elementary students can help with several types of projects.

  • Paint and decorate colorful, welcoming door decorations for family bedrooms.
  • Knit or quilt a special blanket or toy to surprise families or children.
  • Create fun goody bags for families. You can stuff bags with toys and fun items from Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store, such as crayons, coloring books, magazines, games, stickers. Small tokens can make a big difference in cheering up a child in the hospital, as well as their brother or sister who is waiting for their loved one to get better soon.
  • Create colorful friendship bracelets and cards to let families know they have friends thinking of them.
  • Students over 16 can join their parents to help cook breakfast for the families, a unique, fun, and humbling experience for teenagers who need to build their service hours, skills, or resume.

Skills Developed

These fun and simple projects directly benefit families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Plus, painting, decorating, or quilting, or weaving bracelets builds fine motor skills and arts and creativity. Putting together goody bags develops critical thinking, verbal, and social skills. Finally, all projects build a sense of empowerment, create a broader understanding of social issues, and help instill a sense of compassion and community.

2. Humane Society of Eastern Carolinatoddler volunteer opportunities greenville

Most kids love helping animals! Who among us hasn’t watched a video about a poor homeless pup or kitty and gotten teary-eyed? Because many children—and adults, too!—connect so deeply with helpless animals, working with an animal shelter is often a softening introduction to the world of volunteering.

Explaining Homeless Animals to Children

For younger children, simply explain, “When families adopt a cat or dog, it’s very important to be prepared ahead of time. Providing a home for an animal is a big responsibility. Sometimes, families change their mind about their pet, and the animal doesn’t have a place to live. So animal shelters provide a safe place for kitties and puppies until they can find someone to give them a ‘forever home.’ The project we’re doing today will help take care of those animals!

Classroom or At-Home Service Project

Preschoolers and Elementary students can help with several types of projects.

  • Create safe and fun toys for the animals. A pair of socks tied into a few knots is a great tug-toy for a dog; a paper towel roll filled with dried beans and sealed on both ends with tape provides a fun rattle for kittens. There are many craft projects for creating pet toys.
  • Decorate door signs with the names of the cat or dog staying in the room. Make it colorful and bright, encouraging people to “Adopt Me!”
  • Create pet-friendly, homemade treats for the dogs. Try no-bake smashed banana, honey, raw oats, and almond butter roll-ups. If avoiding nuts for allergy purposes, try pumpkin puree, cinnamon, honey and oats. There are lots of recipes available.
  • Create pet pillows and beds using old T-shirts. Simply fill the T-shirt with soft cotton, then sew up the edges.
    Kids over the age of 13 can volunteer at the shelter with their parents. Nothing beats the hands-on experience of helping a homeless kitty or puppy.

Skills Developed

Creating animal toys develops fine motor skills, practice tying knots, and critical and creative thinking. Making animal treats is a cooking project that enhances culinary skills, math and measuring, and tactile understanding. Plus, it’s super fun! Creating a pet pillow or bed is considering a sewing project and should be attempted only by older children, but it develops fine motor and crafting skills.

3. Hiding Painted “Smile Rocks!” Around Greenvillerandom-acts-of-kindness-preschoolers

Making art and doing random acts of kindness is a fun way to encourage kids to learn about service and community-building. Families in many cities around the country—including Greenville, North Carolina—have begun a Random Acts of Kindness game out called The Kindness Rocks Project! Kids paint smooth pond stones, which can be purchased at most craft stores or picked up nearby creeks and ponds, with creative words of encouragement, inspiring quotes, or even just happy images. Then, they hide their Kindness Rock somewhere in Greenville, where someone else can find it and feel encouraged and inspired by the act of kindness!

It’s also fun to stumble upon someone else’s Kindness Rock, and take it home for yourself- a reminder of how kindness creates a ripple effect in the world, and good deeds often come full circle.

Explaining Random Acts of Kindness to Children

Sometimes it can be difficult to for a child to learn how to share they favorite toy, respect a peer who is bothering them, or stand up to bullies. However, focusing on the fun and importance of Kindness helps kids connect more deeply with why things like sharing, respect, and anti-bullying are important. As children build positive experiences with making another person happy, they will also learn how good it feels to help others. They will also experience the reciprocal nature of kindness – when you are good to others, others will be good to you.

Skills Developed

Painting smooth stones develops fine motor skills. Adding words like “Inspire,” “Smile!” or “Kindness,” helps develop spelling and literacy. When finding or hiding the stones, parents have the opportunity to teach children about nature around a creek or pond, and kids build physical fitness by walking around the park or town hiding stones. Plus, it’s just a fun day out!

Kindness is a Way of Life in Our Greenville, NC Preschool!

Our teachers are passionate about teaching preschoolers the social and emotional skills to be successful in elementary school — and life! That’s why kindness is part of our curriculum. We believe preschoolers and elementary students can be empowered by learning to be kind to each other and work together to make a difference in Greenville.

Contact our Greenville, NC preschool program today to learn about our Summer Programs and preschool. Schedule a tour or give us a call at 252-756-8200 to learn more.

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