Posts Tagged ‘Charity’

Why I Am Giving Away 100% of My Book Royalties

January 8, 2020

The devastation of the bushfires in my country has been so tragic. Human and animal lives have been lost as well as homes and pristine bushland.

It is incumbent on me to do my bit. That is why I pledge to give away all of the royalties of my book to the Bushfire Appeal during the month of January.

Every cent of profit will go back to the people who need it more than I do.

The added bonus is that the book itself can bring a sense of joy and optimism at a time of great international insecurity. This book will hopefully provide children and their parents a welcome distraction from events such as the bushfires and Iranian conflict.

Leave a comment below to let me know you have purchased the book so I can start donating straight away.

Please support the bushfires. Every dollar counts.


Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. Perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Study Reveals Children Aren’t Selfish After All

June 21, 2012

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the results of a study that found that children aren’t in fact selfish:

A new study from the University of B.C. shows kids might be generous and giving because it makes them happy, contrary to the popular belief children are inherently selfish.

Adults report feeling better when spending money on other people instead of themselves and research shows the part of the brain that processes rewards is activated when donating to charity.

Three UBC researchers hypothesized very young children — under age two — experience similar emotional benefits from generosity. For adults, the happiness that results from giving could be caused by many things, like conforming with social pressure or receiving rewards.

“But looking at young kids helps us get a little closer to understanding whether this is something rooted in human nature or not,” said Lara Aknin, a PhD in social psychology. Aknin designed the study with her UBC thesis supervisor, Elizabeth Dunn, and developmental psychologist Kiley Hamlin.

This is the first study to look at the emotional benefits of giving in young children.

Aknin cited news and parenting websites that argue young kids are innately selfish and self-absorbed, and she admitted some studies have shown kids can be territorial with their possessions.

“But you also don’t have to look far to see really young kids wanting to share their soggy Cheerios,” she said. “There is this dichotomy when we look at kids, and I think most people’s assumptions are that kids are self-oriented and hoard things for themselves.”

It just goes to show how effectively adults can model good behaviour.

Click here to read my post on teaching children to be grateful.

UK Kids Don’t Know Where Milk or Bacon Comes From!

June 17, 2012

What is the point of filling curriculums with the latest in nonsensical new-age methodology and a raft of programs that are time-consuming but utterly ineffective when our children don’t even know the basics? It seems that we are allowing our kids to become selfish and insular, far more concerned about themselves than the world around them. It is essential that our children become more aware of the world around them.

More than a third of 16 to 23-year-olds (36%) do not know bacon comes from pigs and four in 10 (40%) failed to link milk with an image of a dairy cow, with 7% linking it to wheat, the poll of 2,000 people for charity Leaf (Linking Environment and Farming) found.

Some 41% correctly linked butter to a dairy cow, with 8% linking it to beef cattle, while 67% were able to link eggs to an image of a hen but 11% thought they came from wheat or maize.

A total of 6% of those questioned knew that salad dressing could come from rapeseed oil, compared with the national average among all age groups of 24%.

Although four in 10 young adults (43%) considered themselves knowledgeable about where their food comes from, the results revealed a “shocking” lack of knowledge about how the most basic food is produced, the charity said.

Leaf chief executive Caroline Drummond said: “We often hear reports that our food knowledge may be declining but this new research shows how bad the situation is becoming.

“Despite what they think, young adults are clearly becoming removed from where their food comes from.

“Three in 10 adults born in the 1990s haven’t visited a farm in more than 10 years, if at all, which is a real shame as our farmers not only play an important role in food production but are passionate about engaging and reconnecting consumers too.”

The charity, which is organising an Open Farm Sunday event this weekend, also found almost two-thirds of young adults (64%) did not know that new potatoes would be available from British farms in June, and one in 10 (10%) thought they took less than a month to grow.

OnePoll surveyed 2,000 C adults online between May 11 and 14.

Charity Wants Us to Teach About Gambling to Our Students

December 4, 2011

There’s no limit to good causes, but at some point teachers have to put these to a side and concentrate on their main responsibility – teaching Maths, English and Science.

It’s really frustrating to be told to put the ever-packed curriculum on the backburner to teach about road safety, internet safety, sex education, fire safety and for some, gambling ed. It’s not that these causes aren’t important. On the contrary, they are very important!

It’s just that it leaves us precious little time for doing what we are evaluated to do – teach the curriculum!

Schoolchildren as young as 12 should learn about “responsible betting” to tackle problem gambling, the Government has been told.

Pupils should be taught about risk and probability, and how to gamble responsibly, in the same way they are taught about the risks of drinking alcohol and taking drugs, according to a charity that supports gambling addicts.

I’ve got a novel idea. How about we ask the parents to teach some of these skills?


Disrespected Teens Become Angry Adults

November 3, 2011

Whilst it may not come as a surprise to learn that British society casts negative views about the way children behave, the level of disrespect and animosity doesn’t bode well for the future.  To liken children as ‘feral animals’ may well be an accurate description for many, but I can’t help thinking whether such criticisms results in a stronger us vs them mentality.

Almost half of Britons think children are violent and starting to behave like animals, a Barnardo’s survey suggests.

The children’s charity says the research suggests society holds a negative view towards children despite the majority being well behaved.

Of the more than 2,000 people questioned by ICM Research, 44% said young people were becoming feral.

Barnado’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said it was “depressing” so many were ready to give up on children.

The survey revealed that:

  • 49% agreed children are beginning to behave like animals
  • Almost 47% thought youngsters were angry, violent and abusive
  • One in four said those who behaved badly were beyond help by the age of 10
  • Whilst 36% thought children who get into trouble need help, 38% disagreed

Writing off our young is not a good move.  We just can’t stand by and blindly judge.  We must do what we can to ensure that the next generation of adults feel empowered to make a positive contribution to society.

However uneasy people are feeling about the state of children in today’s world, it is up to us to straighten things out.  As it is, I am unhappy by the way my generation virtually ignores the contributions and sacrifices made by our elders.  I hate to think how badly the younger generations will treat us.

Kids Fined $500 for Lemonade Stand

June 19, 2011

Kids get criticised so much nowadays for not showing enough initiative, taking their luxuries for granted and being selfish.  You’d think that when kids show some drive and vision they’d be applauded for it.

Well, that’s not always the case I’m afraid.

When a group of children get together to raise money for pediatric cancer research, only to have their lemonade stand shut-down and  slapped with a $500 fine, you know that there is something very wrong with the message we send kids.

After life dealt these kids a $500 fine, they kept making lemonade.

Four 10-year-olds who set up a lemonade stand a front yard near Congressional Country Club golf course, site of this year’s U.S. Open, were warned by Montgomery County officials to shut down their lemonade stand on Thursday.

On Friday, in a compromise, parents say the county agreed to let the stand stay open, just a few feet away from its original location.

Neighborhood kids set up a pop-up tent at the corner of Country Club Drive and Persimmon Tree Road.  Thirsty golf fans had a chance to buy lemonade or other cold drinks for $2 a pop.  The kids and their parents said that half the proceeds would go to a children’s charity.

The Montgomery County Department of Permitting said they were obstructing pedestrian and vehicle traffic, and wrote up the lemonade stand for operating without a license.  The offense carries a $500 fine.

“What happened to the entrepreneurial spirit of this country,” one angry parent told NBC4’s John Schriffen on Thursday, “this is the American dream.”

Parents resolved not to move the stand, and to donate 100 percent of the sales to charity.

On Friday, parents said the county government relented, and allowed the stand to stay open. In a compromise, the tent got moved 100 feet down the road, away from the intersection.

“We’re really happy today because the kids are thrilled to be back in business,” said one of the mothers, “and the county said last night that they would not in their words ‘hassle the kids’ this weekend if they would just move their lemonade stand 100 feet down still on private property.”

The kids and their parents planned on giving the money to a race to benefit pediatric cancer research.

Suer a media backlash caused the fine to be waived and a compromise to be hatched up, but there shouldn’t have been a fine or a compromise.  Adults must encourage kids to do things for others and get them to think beyond their own metrialistic vices.  But when children do something that is selfless and sincere, it sends such a terrible message to try and undermine or interfere with their passion for wanting to make a real difference.

Why be content with the next generation simply following in our footsteps, when they are capable of so much more?  Let’s support and encourage them to lean and improve upon both our strengths and weaknesses.

Poor Children Coming to School Tired and Hungry

April 15, 2011

This is a universal problem that requires a lot more attention.  Teachers are not given enough credit for their role in supporting kids that come to school with inadequate food or no lunch at all.  It is not widely known that teachers often spend out of their own pocket to ensure that their poorer students have what to eat.  But the problem still exists, and it must be addressed.

A concerted campaign from schools by working with charity groups to ensure that meals are provided for students of poor families should ensure that heartbreaking articles like this one will be a thing of the past:

Teachers are reporting a rise in pupils entering the classroom feeling tired, hungry and dressed in worn-out clothes.

A study by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers found almost eight-in-10 staff had pupils living below the poverty line and a quarter believed numbers had increased since the start of the recession.

One teacher from Nottingham told of a sixth-former who had not eaten for three days as her “mother had no money at all until pay day”.

A teaching assistant from a West Midlands comprehensive told researchers that some pupils had “infected toes due to feet squashed into shoes way too small”, while another member from Halifax reported a boy who was ridiculed in the PE changing room because his family could not afford to buy him any underpants.

Some teachers told how pupils were consistently late for lessons as parents could not cover the bus fare to school. Other children from middle to lower income families have been forced to cut out school tips because money is so tight, it was claimed.

The disclosure follows the publication of figures showing a rise in the number of pupils eligible for free school meals as families struggle to stay above the breadline in the recession.

Almost 1.2 million five- to 16-year-olds claimed free lunches last year – a rise of more than 83,000 in just 12 months.

Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary, claimed that problems would escalate further because of Government funding cuts – putting the Coalition’s social mobility drive in jeopardy.

“It is appalling that in 2011 so many children in the UK are severely disadvantaged by their circumstances and fail to achieve their potential,” she said.

“What message does this government think it is sending young people when it is cutting funding for Sure Start centres, cutting the Education Maintenance Allowance, raising tuition fees and making it harder for local authorities to provide health and social services.

“The Government should forget empty rhetoric about social mobility and concentrate on tackling the causes of deprivation and barriers to attainment that lock so many young people into a cycle of poverty.”

It is time that we made the most crucial issues in education our first priority and main focus.  As important as debate over class size, ICT, male teacher numbers are for improved educational outcomes, such discussion often takes over.  We need to get back to basics.  The basic requirement for a school is to look after the welfare of its students.  That makes health and bullying among the most important priorities in my book.Here’s an opportunity for schools and charity groups to work together to tackle a problem that shouldn’t even exist in the forst place.

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