Students make decisions on charitable giving


Teaching children about the importance of helping others has gone beyond the classroom at The Main Street Academy in College Park, as 4th grade students make the decisions on contributions to local charities.
“Learning about giving and helping others builds a sense of community,” said teacher Sara Ajisafe, “and we believe that it is not only important for the students to learn, but to reinforce charitable values by making giving a classroom activity.”
Provided $500 by a school parent, Ms. Ajisafe’s 25 4th graders were empowered with making the decisions on what groups and organizations would receive contributions, as well as the amounts to be contributed.
The class decided to partner with the College Park First UMC, located next door to the school. With the assistance of the Rev. Vicki Smith, students learned about various local organizations and the work they do to benefit the community through Action Ministries, a state-wide group that addresses the housing, hunger and education needs of Georgia residents.
After discussions within the classroom, the students decided to make the following contributions:
•  $100 to Smart Lunch, Smart Kid: a state-wide child nutrition initiative that served more than 100,000 lunches during the summer of 2012 when school was out using a network of volunteers from the community.
•  $250 to Transitional Housing: a state-wide program that provides a single family home to a homeless family for up to 24 months. In 2012, more than 70 families will have been served by this 20 county program.
•  $150 to Adult Education (Athens, Augusta, Decatur, Gainesville): a program that involves one-on-one counseling to remove barriers to employability by connecting individuals with educational opportunities that are accessible and life-changing.

“By exposing our students to the value of charity, we encourage them to grow up with a healthy sense of compassion and a strong charitable spirit,” said Ms. Ajisafe.