Second Graders Surprise Volunteer with Generosity

Photo courtesy of BBC News.

Children continually amaze and surprise adults. Vicki Nelson, development manager for Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana, recently had an "ah-ha" moment that occurred in her JA classroom. She was preparing to teach her last class of JA Our Community--the second grade program that teaches students about the roles of various workers in the community.

"It was my last class for the second graders where we follow where the quarter goes," Vicki said. "I was thinking all weekend about what I could give the children to remember what they had learned in the JA lessons, and I finally realized that I should give them quarters because we were doing the last class which is where the quarter starts and ends. "I gave them each a quarter and explained that they now know about our community and how it works. They know about the services the government provides, and that we pay for those services through taxes. We also learned how important it is to vote.

"I then told the students they could save the quarter, spend it, buy a gift with it, or give it away. The teacher then asked two boys to come up to the front of the classroom. They proceeded to tell me how they were going to use their quarters.

"The boys were raising money for the Police Department because they needed a dog, and so far they had raised $100. Then something amazing happened: all the students in the class gave the boys their quarters! The "goody box" was right behind me while I was teaching, but instead of buying candy with their 25 cents, the students still decided to donate the money to the Police Department.

"Of course I emptied my purse also, but just think: These are second graders! Incredible things happen in the classroom every day and we have the best seat in the house to watch them!"

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