Exemplary Program

Learning to Give
Heron Lake Okabena Schools

The vision for the course, Learning to Give, evolved from a belief that volunteering can be taught. As Albert Schweitzer said, “You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.” Students should understand the significance of doing for their fellow men. They need to know they each can contribute and make a difference as a volunteer, both locally and globally. Students had opportunities to serve and make a difference in the “Learning to Give” class. They were personally empowered as they acquired new skills in the process of giving and serving. Students will be able to take these acquired skills and apply them directly to their lives.

Students planned and carried out a fundraiser for an organization, as selected by the class. Students each read a book about a philanthropist or charity work being done around the globe. Guest speakers spoke of their volunteer work in the community and around the world. In addition, the class looked for chances to serve their community, region and state. This course connected students with life-long volunteer opportunities.

Because students connected with volunteer experiences, they met new people and acquired new skills through volunteering, developed leadership skills and enhanced their sense of self-esteem, learned to organize and implement plans for serving and giving, understood the meaning of altruism and the importance of being life-long volunteers, learned about issues and concerns around the world, in the country, in the state, in the region, and locally, and developed communication and team and management skills.