Community Service Ideas for Kids


Community service projects are an important growing experience for children of all ages. Through working together, children learn to solve problems and make decisions that affect not only themselves, but their community as well. It helps them connect to local concerns, global issues, and gain a greater awareness of others’ well being. These attitudes will serve them both now and after they transition into the adult world. Here are a few ideas that could help get them started.

Community Improvement

  • Pick up litter in a park
  • Plant trees or wildflowers in the community
  • Plant a garden and donate fruits or vegetables to a local food bank
  • Start and maintain a recycling program at school

Literacy Based Ideas

  • Read a newspaper to an elderly person who may have trouble seeing small print
  • Have them read a book to a younger child who is learning how to read
  • Have them read a story to a senior citizen who needs companionship
  • Hold a used book sale and donate the funds collected to a charitable cause

Help Out Children in Hospitals

  • Have them put together a package for children in a hospital such as bubbles, craft supplies, activity books, or other items that may help brighten their day (New Items Only)
  • Hold a crayon, marker, and construction paper drive for the local hospital (New Items Only)

Animal Activities

  • Raise money for homeless or sick animals and donate it to a local cause
  • Help local animal shelters obtain items on their wish lists
  • Hold a fundraiser such as a walkathon or marathon, bowling event, or reading circle and donate the proceeds to a local shelter
  • Put out feeders and water for the local avian community

School Ideas

  • Start a SWAT team, standing for Student Who Assist Teachers.
  • Have children collect loose change around their homes, donating the collections to a charity of their choosing

Other Ideas

  • Visit the Pencil Project Website and collect pencils for needy children
  • Collect used items still in good condition such as athletic shoes, sweaters, scarves, mittens, and other items for those in need
  • Visit the Adopt A Platoon website and collect items for servicemen
  • Participate in the 20 grains of rice activity through the World Food Hunger Program
  • Participate in Earth Day activities

As you can see, there are many great ideas for community service projects. This list is only a short example of ideas that you can use to promote a sense of community and inspire your children.

The Importance of Understanding Special Needs in Children


There is an ever rising concern to reshape education for children with special needs. Even though there are several different types of special needs, autism is bringing light to the educational needs of all special needs children. Autism is on the rise and affecting as many as 1 in 68 children. This rising number has brought forth the children who are not receiving enough attention in their educational environment.

With the rising number of children who are diagnosed as autistic, there is an increase in the number of parents who are learning what it means to have a child with special needs. All of these parents are determined to get their children the best education possible, but many teachers are not well trained in handling children with special needs. This indicates that families have been turning to more private schools than public schools.

Autism Speaks came around about the same time as social media, which has helped give a voice to those trying to promote awareness for autism in a world that does not know how to handle special needs. They started the trend for special education advocacy on social media and have paved the way for many people to get the word out about special needs. For example, Decoding Dyslexia has followed Autism Speaks and has been campaigning on social medias well. There has been a success in passing certain legislation that has something to do with dyslexia in over half of the United States.

Due to social media splitting up different types of special needs, education is making a stronger push to take a look at the different requirements that come with the varying conditions. Not all special needs children have the exact same needs, especially if you see that those with autism tend to have differing commitments than others with the same developmental disorder.

Board Certified Behavior Analysts are key to helping schools with the individual plans for each child with special needs. This is a career that is in high demand, and even more so needed in education. BCBAs are able to make more money in healthcare and private practice divisions than they typically do in the education sector, which makes it difficult to get BCBAs to apply to schools where they are most needed.

There are several changes that need to be made within public special education programs. They are underperforming and not meeting the needs of the children or the wants of the parents. On a positive note, special education has finally been put at the forefront of today’s society, and is starting to receive the changes necessary to help all children with developmental disorders.

5 Benefits of Afterschool Programs

Carl Turnley

Education is obviously one of the most crucial parts of growth for a child. The classes taken teaching them skills that can be applied to the modern world prepare them life outside of school. However, their education should not be limited to within these buildings’ walls.

Afterschool programs are extremely beneficial in terms of continued growth for your child, and should be strongly considered depending on his or her interests. From karate classes, to instrumental lessons, to painting, children have a wide range of opportunities to choose from, all of which can enhance their development. With that said, here are five of the greatest benefits that come with enrolling children in afterschool programs.

Improves Academic Performance

Many afterschool programs allow for children to do their homework when present, and even offer help if needed. Working in a much more casual environment may inspire them to ask more questions, and generally show more interest in the work that they’re doing. Some programs even focus specifically on certain subjects, like math, science, and computers. This can directly lead to more enthusiasm when learning about these subjects in school.

Increases Confidence

As mentioned before, the casual environment of afterschool programs can give children a sense of ease. There may be feelings of pressure in school and certain classes that students feel, inhibiting them from contributing as much as they’d like to. When taking part in an activity that they genuinely enjoy after school however, chances are they will be much more likely to try new things and challenge themselves. This can improve self-esteem quite substantially, which is profound for those with learning or attention issues.

Similarly, an increased sense of confidence can translate to leadership skills. Once these are developed, a child may be bore inclined to take initiative and join a student board, school clubs, or assist teachers during or after class. A trait like this is one that is extremely vital in the working world.

Enhances Social Skills

Groups of children taking part in activities that they enjoy together are much more likely to interact with one another; something that isn’t seen quite as often in the classroom. Afterschool programs promote interaction among their participants, and are great platforms for children to build their social skills upon. Experienced staff members are present to correct and teach a child should they act out, which can again sharpen their interactive abilities.

Provides Physical Activity

Programs like the YMCA offer several physical activities for children to play, like swimming, soccer, flag football, and much more. Not only does this keep them active and healthy, but it promotes a healthy lifestyle in general. Additionally, these programs may teach children the importance of nutrition, and provide healthy snacks.

Keeps Kids Occupied

Many parents today may work longer hours that directly compete with their child’s school schedule. While some jobs today are more accommodating, it can be difficult to leave early every day to ensure you are home when your child is. Afterschool programs can effectively act as modes of childcare in addition to their educational benefits. Though they should never be seen as merely babysitting platforms, these programs can keep children in a safe environment while their parents are still at their places of work.

In fact, studies have shown that teens whose parents’ work schedules may conflict with theirs are more likely to engage in risky behavior; something afterschool programs can help with by keeping them occupied and off the streets.