Like many parents, I want to teach my kids to think beyond themselves. For them to see the need around them and serve others. How do we get kids to invest their heart and service in others? I think the best way to share local love is to find personal ways kids can give back to their community.
Just do a quick google search of your local charities, and you’ll see a diverse need. Everything from animal shelters, senior care, children’s hospitals, and local parks could use help. Find an organization that matches your child’s interest! They will be excited to learn more and donate time, money or goods.
This month, I’ve partnered with Gymboree and their #LocalLove campaign, to find ways kids can give back in their local community. In our home, we love reading and books, so we wanted to share our love of books with local children. I also happened to know a leader at a local literacy charity, Children’s Reading Partners! So we connected with them to show a little local love via our love of books!
Gymboree sent us a small donation to help with our efforts. With that, we purchased duplicates of the boys’ favorite books. Plus, we collected a few of our own gently used books that the boys have outgrown.
We met with Dr.O, principal at our local Norris A. Elementary school, and Alana Butler of Children’s Reading Partners (CRP) to make our donation, and hear about the need for quality books in our local schools. Since its founding 20 years ago, CRP has helped over 6,000 at-risk students develop literacy skills needed for success!
It may surprise you (as it did me!) to learn many elementary students don’t own a single book they can call their own! Books are a HUGE part of our family, so my boys could scarcely wrap their young minds around this idea. They were thrilled to give from their own abundance of books (with the generosity of Gymboree) to help kids their age get ahold of some engaging books.
Children’s Reading Partners accepts book donations (new or gently used) for grades K-5. They distribute books to local elementary schools, and the teachers match the books with their students. Plus, Children’s Reading Partners sends reading mentors into schools to make connections with students and plant a seed to grow a love of reading.
For students who never enjoyed reading, simply owning their own book, and having someone care enough to read it to them can prompt a huge change in their literacy abilities.
Local blog readers!! CRP is doing extremely important work to build literacy. They’re always looking for reading mentors to join their efforts. If you’re interested in being a reading mentor, or have books to donate, visit Children’s Reading Partners to donate or volunteer!
Even though they are young, my boys learned they could help kids their own age. Now they want to do more to encourage other kids to love reading.http://happystronghome.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/720p-1.mov
A little local love goes a long way. For now, eight students at Norris will be receiving their own books, possibly for the first time! And our boys loved being able to give books so much, they want to continue making more book donations!
Donate to our Book Drive!
We’re holding a book drive to collect gently used (or new) books from our friends and neighbors! If you’re local to me, the boys have a box for anybody we know to drop off books. If you’re not local, and want to help us raise funds to purchase more books for Norris Elementary School students, please email me to find out how to give. All books will be donated via the Children’s Reading Partners program.
Get out and about in cute and comfy summer styles!
For our donation excursion, the boys wore the new Americana collection from Gymboree. Splashed with vivid red, white, and blue colors, plus dinosaur, firecracker, and hot dog motifs, this is an exciting and patriotic style collection any kid will love!
My oldest is wearing comfy pull-on cargo shorts (these would be perfect for manning a lemonade stand fundraiser!) with a patriotic USA Rex tee, plus the flag shirt button down scattered with hot dogs, flags and fireworks! My little guy sports a matching pair of red shorts, plus a red, white, and blue plaid shirt layered over a tie-dyed ombré polo.
The flag sneakers really give their outfits some pop! The coordinating themes of the Americana collection will be perfect all spring and summer, no matter what community activities or family adventures you participate in!
Check out these Gymboree styles for spring, and tell me, what causes do you support? And how do you get your kids get involved in giving back to their community?
Share your giving back activities on social media with the hashtag #LocalLove, so we can be inspired and get ideas about more ways to give back! If you don’t yet have a favorite charity to support, ask kids what matters to them: are they passionate about books like we are? Or animals? Maybe they love nature and want to help clean up a local park or trail. When kids find a cause that really speaks to their passions, there’s no limit to the good they a can do for others.
This post is sponsored by Gymboree and I received outfits and gift cards in exchange for sharing the #LocalLove message. All opinions are my own, and I only share brands I truly love and causes I fully support personally.