American cartoonist and writer Scott Adams once said, “There’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.” This month, at the Learning Experience (TLE) center in Goodyear, preschoolers are learning that message and the positive impact they can have on the lives of other children.
Through a partnership with Make-A-Wish America, TLE-Palm Valley, which serves students ages 6 weeks to 5 years, is holding a month-long fundraiser, 2019 Bubbles Road to Wishes. Students as young as 3 are raising money through local community activities and online donations to later grant wishes for children with critical illnesses.
The fundraiser featuring fictional characters called Bubbles, Charity Chihuahua and Grace Greyhound teach children about the value of kindness and helping others and is part of TLE’s philanthropy program, said Jessica Lopez, center director.
“We not only want to prepare students for academic success, but to become good people and understand what it means to be a part of their community,” Lopez said.
“We’re a business of little learners, so it’s great that we’re able to partner with a foundation that works with them, especially the ones who are sick or don’t have the opportunity to do certain things our other little ones are able to do.”
Parents create their childs fundraising page, where they’re encouraged to share with family and friends, Lopez added.
“It’s like networking. (Parents) donate and then they can share it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and their families can make (a page) and donate. It’s kind of just word of mouth,” she said.
According to Lopez, the virtual fundraiser raised $400,000 company-wide in 2018. All proceeds go to Make-A-Wish, she said.
“We’re hoping to raise $1 million this year together, from New York to California.”
Kaylie Ruel, a preschool teacher at TLE-Palm Valley, said in addition to raising funds, the program also teaches children about landmarks and the history of the United States, as Bubbles makes stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and more.
“Every Wednesday, we get a postcard from Bubbles. We’re doing New York right now. Through Google Maps, they are able to visualize and see where the Statue of Liberty is and what it looks like. When we show them new things they get all excited,” Ruel said.
Ruel added that programs like these are important because they encourage kids to lend a helping hand and appreciate what they have.
“It’s very beneficial for kids to be in a program like this because we’re not just here to watch kids and have them play. We’re here to teach as well,” she said.
“It’s important to understand what we have and cherish what we have because some kids or people don’t have the same opportunities.”