Young Citizens in Action
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Young Citizens in Action

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen is available as a YouTube read-aloud.

Today there are many young people who are coming up with creative ways to make other people in their neighborhood smile.  Reports of simple drawings posted on our doors, windows, or trees have made people walking by feel better.  One of the groups of people who are very challenged by the events of the day are those who get their meals from local soup kitchens. Listen to the story of Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan.  The story will help you understand what a soup kitchen is, and how important it can be for some people.  It will also help you understand how a simple act of kindness can make a difference for both the person who is receiving the act of kindness, as well as the person who is giving it.

Activities and Discussion Questions:

1. Below is a list of possible volunteer activities in which young people can participate.  Choose the one from the list that you might like to try.

  • Help decorate a local post office, train station, gas station, supermarket with pictures that you and your friends have drawn;
  • Help clean up a local park or vacant lot;
  • Sing songs, present a play for neighbors, senior citizens, other students;
  • Organize a book and toy drive and collect gently used books and toys.  Then plan to distribute them;
  • Organize and collect for a food drive or clothing drive.  Arrange what you have collected to be taken to a local food bank.

2.  In Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen, the brick building that houses the soup kitchen is described as old and kind of run down.  What could you and a group of your friends do to help change that look?  Why do you think making the building look better is important?

3.  Uncle Willie tells his nephew that they fed 121 people at the soup kitchen that day. Then he says, “That’s a lot of citizens.”  Why do you think Uncle Willie called them citizens?  Share some ways you have modeled being active in your home, school, or community.

(Lesson developed by Anne Spector, C70's Lead Educator.)