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Children Are Our Future

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Those of us involved with volunteerism for a long time have always thought that the easiest way to ensure its future is to teach volunteering to children at a very early age. In fact, research shows that those who volunteer as children are much more likely to continue to volunteer as adults.  In this Points of View, Steve McCurley and Susan Ellis, long-time proponents of involving children as volunteers, review methods (some good, some questionable) that organizations and individuals now use to encourage volunteer participation by children. They discuss the biggest barrier to volunteering by children – the reluctance of agencies to accept them. And then they turn the tables and ask the readers for their own points of view on this topic. Is volunteering a valuable experience to provide to young children? What do children gain from volunteering? What is the youngest age for children to volunteer?  This interactive Points of View is designed to engage readers and get at the heart of this very important volunteer topic.