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Never Too Early for Altruism
smorrison

At Armbrae, we have a long history of teaching our students about altruism. The belief in or practice of selfless concern for the well-being of others. Our fore sisters at the Halifax Ladies College seem to ingrain this into their curriculum. Many of their graduates went on to dedicate their lives to the betterment of others.

Today at Armbrae, students in grades 7 - 12 are asked to commit a certain amount of hours to community service. Our junior school blends this into their curriculum, by fundraising for local charities. Last year our Friends of The IWK, made up of grade ones, raised over 3000.00 for the IWK through popcorns sales, recycling bottles, etc.

Experts say children can start understanding the concept of charity as early as five years old. The idea for this blog, came from one of our students in our junior primary class, who with the urging of his parents decided he would raise funds by asking people to donate money instead of gifts at his birthday. He would take a small portion of the funds to buy a gift for himself, and the rest would go to Feed Nova Scotia. He delivered the money to the organization, and received a wonderful response. The administration told him exactly where his money would go, and he saw the impact of his contribution. Typical of this age was his reaction; what was all the fuss about, he was doing what can come pretty naturally at a young age, giving without the need to be thanked.

What the family took away from the experience was how a small gesture can make such a huge difference.

At Armbrae, we believe that community service and volunteerism is important to teach. Although Canada has a long history of philanthropy, numbers are slipping, and the people who donate the most are aging. Most of our students are often surprised at the impact their small gestures make: singing a song to a senior at Maplestone Seniors Home, making dinner for a family at Ronald McDonald house, or packing boxes of food for those in need. They learn early that the many small gestures make a huge difference in peoples lives. It is our hope at Armbrae that we are helping to foster the best in our students and in turn, they will pass on the best to their families and community.

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