December Focuses on Generosity

Each month in Character Foundations, St. Johns' innovative character education program, students from age 3 through Grade 12 focus on a different character education trait, learning about and practicing each trait throughout the month. Younger students learn the vocabulary and definitions, and all students learn to identify, describe, and practice each trait.


In December, Spartans of all ages will be focusing on and learning about generosity, which is defined as making someone's day by giving something away. As a parent, you can reinforce messages about generosity at home by asking your child to tell you about a time they gave something away to make someone's day. Is there an instance they can think of? Also ask them, who is the most generous person you know? Why?  You can also share with your child a story of a time when you gave away something and made someone's day. 

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others
cannot keep it from themselves.”
     — Sir James Matthew Barrie 


Many parts of 2020 have been scary, uncertain times, but there have been many people demonstrating great acts of generosity. Among these generous acts were citizens across our country who put their sewing skills to use and sewed masks for healthcare workers to use, or, right here at St. Johns, students who spent the spring and summer churning out plastic face shields for frontline workers in our community. There were many stories of people young and old making masks and pitching in to help others in many ways. 


Think of a need in your community, school, church, home, park and recreation center, etc. Once you have identified what the need is, think of ways that you can give something away to help with that need. As a family, talk about ways that you can contribute, help others, and show your generosity this holiday season.


Here are some books you can read with your child to help talk about generosity and reinforce the lesson.

Lower School

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems (Grades Pre-K-1)
Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey (Grades Pre-K-1)
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards (Grades Pre-K-2)
The Spiffiest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson (Grades Pre-K-2)
It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton (Grades K-2)
The House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger (Grades K-5)
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbau (Grades K-5)
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Grades K-5)
What is Given from the Heart by Patricia McKissack (Grades K-5)
The Lemonade Ripple: A Sweet Story of Kindness and Charity by Paul Reicheit (Grades K-5)
Lend a Hand: Poems About Giving by John Frank (Grades 1-5)
Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant (Grades 1-5)
Almost Zero by Nikki Grimes (Grades 2-4)
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming (Grades 2-5)
The Can Man by Laura E. Willliams (Grades 3-5)
The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans (Grades 3-5)
An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Palocco (Grades 3-5)

Middle and Upper School

Scat by Carl Hiaasen (Grades 6-8)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Grades 6-12)
Tallulah Falls by Christine Fletcher (Grades 8-12)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Grades 6-12)
Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloud (Grades 5-7)
Peace Like a River by Leif Egan (Grades 6-12)
Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Grades 5-8)
So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins (Grades 6-12)
This Same Sky by Naomi Shihab Nye (Grades 9-12)
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow (Grades 7-12)





  • Character Foundations