RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – Preschoolers in the Tampa Bay area are raising money to grant wishes, all while learning about Make-A-Wish and giving back to others.
The Learning Experience education centers are holding their “Let’s Grant Wishes” fundraiser in April. Children as young as 3 years old are learning about Make-A-Wish and the differences they can make in the world when they work together. The fundraiser is part of the centers’ curriculum about philanthropy.
Teachers are using Learning Experience’s characters “Charity Chihuahua” and “Grace the Greyhound” to help kids learn about helping others.
Kids are creating arts and crafts while learning about Make-A-Wish and helping to raise donations through online fundraising pages.
“It inspires these kids at an early age to give, to know how to be kind, to know how to be a good friend. It also instills a community sense in them, they know that working together is how we get to accomplish these wishes,” said Jackie Talleyrand, business manager and one of the owners of The Learning Center at Rivercrest.
The Learning Experience Rivercrest has raised $2,059 of their $6,600 goal.
“So we’re almost there. We’re about halfway to granting a wish here, and it’s all because of their help and their parents and their families as well,” Talleyrand said.
The various centers throughout the Tampa Bay area have websites where parents, family, friends and even strangers looking to do good can donate.
Talleyrand said they are having friendly competitions between classrooms, and those who donate $250 or more even have a chance at winning a Land Rover.
“We try to display how far each classroom has gotten. So definitely when the parents walk in, they’re like, ‘uh oh, this classroom is beating my child’s classroom, so let me go make my donation!’ So it’s been great,” she said.
While the preschoolers are having fun crafting things like making wands decorated with gems and using Play-Doh to cut out stars representing wishes, they’re learning about philanthropy.
That’s something Talleyrand said can be done at home, as well.
“Giving is something that is very important. So even if it’s not at school, if parents want to help and instill that skill in their children at an early age, it goes a long way,” she said. “They way this world is right now, we need more kind folks, so we’re hoping that through this campaign of granting wishes and teaching the children about philanthropy and what it means to give, to donate that we can change the world.”