Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Children for Children?
- How can I get my child involved?
- At what age should children be able to participate?
- Are there special considerations for involving youth in service?
- What do all these terms such as “volunteering,” “giving,” “service learning,” “community service” and “youth service” mean? Is it important to distinguish them?
- Is it meaningful or worthwhile if my child can only participate in one or a few events?
- Why should youth service matter for young children?
- Does a parent or adult need to participate?
- Why does CFC's giving focus on educational resources?
- How does CFC benefit students, schools and teachers?
- How does CFC identify potential resource grant teachers and schools?
- I know of a really worthy school or teacher that needs CFC's help. What do I do?
- Can I just contribute to CFC to support the resource grants to schools without participating in the programs?
- What if I want to help in other areas besides education?
1. What is Children for Children?
Children for Children Foundation (CFC), a New York not-for-profit founded by parents in 1996, has worked to empower young people to "Grow Involved" by volunteering their time and resources to benefit youth and others, with a particular focus on providing critical materials and services to New York City schools serving under-resourced communities.
From its first program, CFC's flagship Birthday Party Program, CFC programming has evolved into a series of youth service and philanthropy programs and events encouraging young people to "Grow Involved!", many of which enable CFC to direct resources to New York City schools and teachers struggling to provide quality education in severely under-resourced communities.
CFC engages New York City children and families across the socio-economic spectrum in thousands of hands on volunteer hours. Through Children for Children, as of March 2004, contributors had given over $920,000 for resource grants, in addition to helping place approximately half a million new and gently used books. CFC estimates that well over 120,000 students have benefited from these gifts.
2. How can I get my child involved?
Getting your child involved in CFC's programs is easy. Submit a completed Interest Form or call CFC at 212.708.0200. You may also send an email to email@example.com with the following information about your child:
- Birth date
- Programs you are interested in
- Parent or guardian name
- Phone number
- Email address of parent/guardian
For hands on programs like the Children's Action Board and Special Events, we will then send a volunteer form to be completed. Once you have signed your child up for the Celebrations Program for his or her birthday, each year your child will receive a birthday card and reminder for you in the mail.
3. At what age should children be able to participate?
While there is no age requirement to begin instilling a sense of giving and helping others, studies show that the earlier children become involved, the greater the likelihood that they will remain involved in their community, continue to be civically engaged and become generous contributors. See www.independentsector.org and Kids for Community for studies supporting these findings.
CFC's programs allow a range of youth from preschool through high school, as well as parents, to participate. Early involvement is really a family activity, and the value is great, even though a child is too young (for example, two years old) to articulate or fully appreciate the meaning of the experience. See some tips to get started.
CFC's Celebrations Program was designed to begin with younger children of preschool age and continue for birthdays, other milestones and holidays up to 100! CFC recommends starting when the child is about three or four, and the child is beginning to have comprehension of others. Each year with family discussion and input from the celebrating child, he or she can understand and appreciate more. Parents can also set an example with their own milestone celebrations!
The Children's Action Board (CAB) is designed for children, six through 13, with interested "CAB alums" over 13 welcome to serve as team leaders for projects.
CFC’s Book Programs, Special Events, Do Your Own Thing and Kids for Community database are open to families and present opportunities for children of any age, as well as school and community groups!
4. Are there special considerations for involving youth in service?
Yes. For an introduction to youth service called "Getting Started" for parents, kids and teens visit the Kids for Community website.
5. What do all these terms such as “volunteering,” “giving,” “service learning,” “community service” and “youth service” mean? Is it important to distinguish them?
“Volunteering” is typically understood to mean giving one’s time to help others hands on. “Giving” is typically used to refer to contributing money or other in kind resources to help others. “Community service” is any project or activity that is performed for the benefit of the public or its institutions. “Service Learning” combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge. “Youth service” encompasses both service learning and community service. When CFC uses “youth service,” we include the concept of giving resources, as well as hands on volunteering.
6. Is it meaningful or worthwhile if my child can only participate in one or a few events?
Absolutely. More participation is valuable, because multiple experiences reinforce each other and youth become more comfortable as they understand what participating requires and better appreciate the needs that they are filling. However, any experience is better than never being included in an activity that involves caring for someone or something beyond oneself.
Each individual experience can also be made more meaningful by incorporating the three components of service learning: preparation, execution and reflection. Parents can provide preparation by helping their children understand what they are going to do (ideally having the children contribute their ideas) and why they are doing it. Execution is simply participating in the service experience. Reflection after the event and discussion with your child about a service or giving experience reinforces its meaning.
7. Why should youth service matter for young children?
The earlier children become involved, the more they, and all of us, will benefit. Youth service helps others in need and reflects core societal values. Studies connect service at an early age with greater adult involvement in community service, civic participation and giving generously. See www.independentsector.org for studies supporting these findings.
Moreover, youth service offers powerful lifelong individual benefits to participants—including responsibility and leadership skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, increased self-respect, character development and self-discipline, more motivation and engagement in studies, greater tolerance and a broader perspective, and possibly improved academic performance. See the Kids for Community service learning for studies and research on the benefits of youth philanthropy and service.
8. Does a parent or adult need to participate?
CFC staff are available to help guide your child in all CFC programs. However, participation is also needed by a parent, teacher or other responsible adult. Discussing philanthropy and helping others with your child before participating, as well as reflecting afterwards, makes the experience more educational and meaningful.
9. Why does CFC give focus on educational resources?
A key reason to focus on helping education is that all children share this common experience. Even the very young can g.html and empathize with what it must be like to try to learn without enough resources like books, markers, microscopes, music and gym equipment.
10. How does CFC benefit students, schools and teachers?
As of 2005, Children for Children contributors have given over $1,500,000 for resource grants, in addition to helping place approximately half a million new and gently used books. CFC estimates that well over 100,000 students have benefited from these gifts. CFC's Children's Action Board, Special Events and Projects and Kids for Community database also offer free, meaningful hands on service opportunities and resources for educators to help their students to gain the lifelong benefits of engaging in youth service and giving.
11. How does CFC identify potential resource grant teachers and schools?
Each year, Children for Children identifies potential recipient teachers and schools (in which typically 90% or more of the school population qualifies for the federal free lunch program) from a broad array of sources, including CFC contributors and program participants, other community based organizations and not-for-profits, the Department of Education, principals and teachers seeking support and CFC’s own research. CFC then considers whethe
identified teachers and schools meet its selection criteria for different grants. See Annual Fund Grant and Teacher’s Aid Program for more information>
12. I know of a really worthy school or teacher that needs CFC's help. What do I do?
CFC welcomes nominations of potential grant schools and teachers from CFC participants and friends, as well as from other organizations and the schools themselves. You can download Annual Fund School Nomination Form or Teacher’s Aid Program Application.
13. Can I just contribute to CFC to support the resource grants to schools without participating in the programs?
Yes. All contributions to CFC that are not designated for program and operations support become part of the current Annual Fund. 100% of the Annual Fund resource grants support selected NYC schools serving under-resourced communities.
14. What if I want to help in other areas besides education?
To find other youth and family volunteer opportunities in NYC, use CFC's searchable Kids for Community online database. Also, check out other possibilities by participating in CFC's large fall, winter and spring Special Events, such as its Grow Involved on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Event. And don’t forget you can always Do Your Own Thing through CFC.