Benny’s Pennies help teach Day Nursery students to Live United

Benny's Pennies cover Dragonfly BooksAs you may know, Day Nursery has been educating the youngest children of Indianapolis for over 110 years.  We not only teach children what they need to be prepared for the academic side of school, we work hard to equip the children with the social and emotional skills they will need to be successful in life. One of the ways young children learn is through role-playing.  For the past few weeks, Day Nursery employees have been setting a good example for our children by using our in-house United Way campaign to share an important lesson about giving. To further expand this lesson into the curriculum, Beth Rodriguez, our Director of Development and the mother of a Day Nursery student, discovered a picture book called Benny’s Pennies, written by Pat Brisson with illustrations by Bob Barner which became the springboard for a series of lessons about thoughtfulness, generosity and the power of giving. Each Day Nursery classroom was given a copy of the book and was free to expand the lesson to follow the children’s interests.  Sarah Parks, Director of the Day Nursery Federal Center sent me some pictures of the Benny’s Pennies activities from her preschool classrooms.  In the Pre-K classroom, the children were inspired by Benny’s generosity in the story and wanted to collect some pennies of their own.  Their teacher, Ms. Shirley brought in a glass jar and the students contributed their coins.  The children told their teacher they wanted to give the money in their jar to United Way to “buy something beautiful for children.”  Benny’s Pennies gave the preschool teachers a great chance to use life lessons to teach counting and number sense and social studies skills.  We are proud to report that 99% of our employees participated in United Way campaign this year resulting a group contribution of $16,423 plus a whole bunch of pennies.

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The PreK classroom sorted their money into stacks to help the counting process.

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The preschool three-year-olds class helps count pennies.

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