ATLANTA - Nov. 5, 2015 // PRNewswire // - Reading, writing and arithmetic aren't the only skills nurtured in preschool classrooms today. More than 14,000 kindergartners and pre-K students across the U.S. are learning about altruism, civics, business, budgeting and nutrition as part of Primrose Schools' annual Caring and Giving Food Drive. These young children are serving their communities while gaining valuable soft skills that will help them later in life.
The Caring and Giving Food Drive has been a part of Primrose Schools' Balanced Learning® program for more than a decade. It is different from other school hunger drives as it takes an authentic, experiential approach to teach a variety of lessons. Teachers model good citizenship and extol the virtue of giving through songs and reading books together about sharing and giving to others. Children learn selflessness through art and story-writing assignments. Related math, nutrition and planning lessons round out the learning.
"Numerous early childhood studies show that building social-emotional skills is just as important for later success as teaching the academic basics," said Gloria Julius, Ed.D., vice president of education and professional development for Primrose. "In fact, children who have high prosocial skills are among the most cognitively ready for school and life success. That's why we are so passionate about offering a program that seeks to nurture character development while also teaching key academic skills."
During this week-long giving activity, students are asked to earn their donation through chores at home. The children bring their donations to the classroom where they count the money and develop a budget and a shopping list of healthy food items. The classes then take a field trip to a grocery store to shop for the items on their list. Students and teachers deliver the food to a local shelter or food bank and distribute to those in need. In the days that follow, the classrooms discuss how food banks and shelters help people in their community. Each activity supports the main lessons of the Caring and Giving Food Drive: responsibility, community involvement and giving without expectation.
According to research from child development expert Dr. Gail Gross, young children start observing their parents and caregivers from a young age, picking up social cues that are absorbed into their behavior. Although studies show that children do not develop the cognitive skills to understand empathy fully until age 8 or 9, caretakers are encouraged to start modeling gratitude and giving without expecting with young children to enable them to grow into caring adults.
"It's wonderful to watch these children learn how to be good citizens at such a young age," said Julius. "We are truly inspired by their thoughtfulness and we hope these lessons empower them to grow into smart, caring adults who will make the world a better place."
Visit PrimroseSchools.com/blog to read more about the Caring and Giving Food Drive and tips for encouraging empathy, selflessness and generosity in young children.
Founded in 1982, Primrose Schools is the nation's leader in providing a premier, early education and care experience in more than 300 schools in 25 states. Each Primrose school is independently owned and operated by Franchise Owners, who partner with parents to help children build the right foundation for future learning and life, and offer an environment that helps children have fun while nurturing Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts®. Primrose is the first early childhood education organization in the country to receive AdvancED Corporation Systems Accreditation under the new Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools. For more information, visit www.PrimroseSchools.com, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, and explore our blog.
SOURCE Primrose Schools