About 80% of 10,000 young people in a recent Harvard University study ranked high achievement or happiness over caring for others. That same percentage reported that their parents also valued success or happiness over caring for others, and almost 75% agreed with the statement “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

Harvard’s full report cites work showing that students under achievement pressure don’t outperform other students. They also cite work showing how emotional and social well-being translates to achievement and personal success.

You can find a list of Harvard’s suggested strategies and tips for parents at their Making Caring Common page.

At this time of year, we are overwhelmed with giving opportunities everywhere. Our parent survey last year asked us to move our giving events farther from the holidays — to remember that giving should be year-round. This year, we’ve supported the Senior Food drive and the LGS Recreation tree, and we are currently still supporting the Student Council sock drive. Our traditional Adopt-A-Family event has been moved to February — look for it to begin after the holidays are over.

At Foothill Elementary, our Project Cornerstone and Playground Pals efforts try to promote caring and also give students a wealth of caring and moral adult examples. Both Project Cornerstone and Playground Pals are volunteer-run, largely by the staff and parents within our school, and are funded by your generous annual donations. Thank you. We are proud of our kids, our staff, our parents, and our community!

Harvard’s recent study, ‘the children we mean to raise’ . . . .