Wednesday, May 15, 2013

13th - 19th May National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is Australia's largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism. There are over 6 million people volunteering in Australia, which represents 36% of the adult population. Volunteering Australia values the contribution that each individual makes by offering their time, skills and passion. They feel that Australia has a proud culture of giving.

Unfortunately sometimes at school I feel my clientele have a tendency towards ego-centricism and self absorption so I take every opportunity to talk about the importance of community and helping each other and I find it easy to do this through books and book discussion.  Luckily this is the theme of many early childhood picture books and here's five that do it very well. Each has an adult helping a child or children helping an adult to see the power of communication and thus community in a neighbourhood setting. These books were the first to come to mind and I think it fitting that they are all Australian titles.
If I thought for longer I'm sure there would be more titles, but  here's these books with authors:
Nobody's Granny  by Tess Brady tells of a lonely old lady who has her garden tidied and a fence built by scouts.
 Amelia Ellicott's Garden by Liliana Stafford & Stephen Michael King shares the story of how the neighbours help Amelia after her garden and chicken coop have been damaged in a storm.
Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten by Bob Graham tells of how when Rose's family move to a new house they make an effort to meet their neighbour and to involve him anew in the life of the neighbourhood.
That's Not a Daffodil by Elizabeth Honey tells the story of neighbours Tom, a small boy and Mr Yilmaz the wonderful gardener who lives nearby and is constantly giving of his time and produce.
Leaves For Mr Walter by Janeen Brian & David Cox which shows how young Emilia helps grumpy Mr Walter rake up his leaves and in doing so brings about a change in his disposition.

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