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Goal to Be Greater: Encouragement and Support to Raise Civic-Minded Kids

Kids recycling

Jamie Farnsworth keeps her eyes open for lost tourists on the subway as she commutes to work in Manhattan.

“My final stop is the place where people are getting on the train to go downtown to South Ferry, where they get the Statue of Liberty ferry,” Jamie says. “The entrance is a bit confusing and difficult to find.”

Earlier this month, she came upon a couple with small kids looking confused.

Photo of a tourist boat ride in New York with the statue of liberty in the background

“Sure enough, they were standing at the entrance to the uptown train, when they needed to go downtown to South Ferry,” Jamie says. “I showed them where to go and sent them on their way.”

Jamie, a manager at NBC, talked with us about an upcoming Parent Toolkit back-to-school campaign called “Goal to Be Greater.”

It’s an effort to motivate parents and their children to pledge to make a difference —even if it’s as small as keeping their eyes open for lost tourists.

‘Caring About Others More Than Self’

“There’s so much vitriol during this presidential campaign season,” Jamie says. “We wanted to do something with parents this year that had a positive impact, something that can make a difference.”

“We talked with Pearson, the sponsor of our Parent Toolkit website, and settled on a project grounded in civic engagement,” she says. “It’s about caring about others more than self.”

Setting Civic-Minded Goals

Through the Parent Toolkit website, a platform produced by NBC News and supported by Pearson, parents and kids are asked to submit a civic-minded goal.

Quote: “There’s so much vitriol during this presidential campaign season,” Jamie says. “We wanted to do something with parents this year that had a positive impact, something that can make a difference.”

“We want them to get creative,” Jamie says. “Pledge to donate old books to a library, volunteer to help at an elderly home, or practice kindness daily—and these goals can be text-only or photos or even links to self-made videos.”

“We hope the act of submitting that goal to the website helps them stick to their pledge,” she says.

“It’s really an effort to help parents teach children how they can be productive members of society,” Jamie says.

“It’s not something that happens overnight,” she says. “But this kind of encouragement can show kids that everything we do can impact the world.”

Quote: “It’s not something that happens overnight,” she says. “But this kind of encouragement can show kids that everything we do can impact the world.”

A Winner’s Donation

Every submission to the “Goal to be Greater” campaign generates a $1 donation that gets added to an imaginary pot.

When the campaign is done, a team of experts will select the most creative goal submission.

“The winner will be able to choose a charity from a vetted list that we’ll donate the total to,” Jamie says.

NBC has pledged up $5,000*. Pearson will match every dollar donated.

You can submit your own #GoalToBeGreater here.

Teaching Children

“It’s not easy raising civic-minded kids,” Jamie says. “And we want to help parents on this journey to teach children how to look beyond themselves.”

**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited. Open only to legal residents of the 50 US or DC who are 18 or older. Begins September 6, 2016 at 10amET and ends September 30th, 2016 at 11:59pmET. Limit 1 entry per person. For Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, visit ParentToolkit.com/Rules. Sponsor: NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Pearson is partnering with NBC on the “Goal to Be Greater” project. They’re collecting pledges to make a difference in communities at the Parent Toolkit website.