Sunday, July 26, 2009

Making the Case for Life to 2nd Graders at Public School [SK]

I've had a request to post this on-line, so here you go.

LTI Donor Letter, 7-09:

Dear Friends,

I did something fun at the end of the school year. I spoke to my daughter Emily’s 2nd grade class. Emily attends our local public school and her teacher thought the class would benefit hearing from a real life author. How could I resist?

Here's how I began: I held up a parchment copy of The Declaration of Independence (which the class had studied a bit) and read the following: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men."

I then asked, "What makes us equal? It can't be our body size, because some are larger than others. It can't be our intelligence, because some have good report cards while others have bad. It can't be our bellybuttons because some point out rather than in. So what makes us equal?”

From all over the room, tiny voices shot back “We’re all human!” Exactly. The only thing we all share equally is our humaness.

I then held up my book The Case for Life. The cover shows a picture of two tiny feet. “What’s this?” Without a moment’s delay, kids all over that room shouted, “a baby in the mommy’s tummy.”

“Right.” And what kind of baby is this?” Again, there was no delay. “It’s a human baby.”

Right again. “But how is this human in the picture different than us?” Hands shot up everywhere. “It’s smaller.” “It looks different.” “It can’t talk yet.” “You can’t see his eyes yet.”

“True. Do you think that any of those differences mean the baby in the picture is less human than any of us?”

A resounding chorus of voices shot back, “No!”

Notice the kids didn’t need a doctorate degree to grasp the obvious truth about our common human nature. I made a case for human equality (and thus, a case for the pro-life view) without mentioning the word abortion. More importantly, they understood perfectly what I was driving at.

Admittedly, I was having a blast with these kids. At the same time, they were teaching me an important lesson. The pro-life movement must find ways to reach kids earlier, before the surrounding culture talks them out of what they already know to be true. In many ways, these youngsters had better moral reasoning skills than many college students I meet!

That’s why here at Life Training Institute, we’re committed to reaching kids not only at the university campus, but long before they arrive. Now that my book The Case for Life is published, we’re stepping up plans to release additional speakers who connect well with middle school and high school students at Catholic and Protestant schools. I hope one day we’ll even have something for grade school kids--just like those at Emily’s school!

I can sum up the day this way. Making a case for the pro-life view to my daughter's 2nd grade class--fun! Hearing her tell the whole class, "I love my daddy"--priceless!

Grateful as always for your faithful support,

Scott Klusendorf

8 comments:

  1. Scott,
    Did you go further with the students? If yes, what did you say?

    Steve

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  2. Wow--this is inspiring! Hard to believe you could get away with something like that, and it blesses me to read about the kids' interaction with you.

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  3. Good for you. Amazing how much smarter children are compared to many adults. :)

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  4. Well done, Scott. I can't think of a better way to introduce the idea of human value to young kids.

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  5. I attended a protestant Christian Jr./Sr. high school (quite a while ago). I recall that when I was a junior higher, we had a "respect for life day." On that day, I learned not only to oppose abortion because it's wrong, but to hate it because of rightful compassion for the innocent victims. It is in connecting with the pain and injustice toward the unborn that we gain a passion about the issue. Keep up the good work.

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  6. Great story Scott. Are you familiar with the Endowment for Human Development? www.ehd.org

    It's a rather amazing website that depicts human development (absent your great discussion re: equality of humanity).

    It contains embryoscopies and is quite useful. Might be something for 2nd graders to dig into with parents. There's nothing objectionable on there that I know of.

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  7. Chris, Yes, the folks at EHD do great work. Their embryoscopy clips are incredible.

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  8. Scott,
    This just awesome! Mark and I have decided that as soon as we can swing it, I am going back to school and getting my Masters. Maybe in bio-ethics, maybe education, but I want to teach this full time in a secular college, I hope. I am hoping to make an impact on these young minds, and maybe put Peter Singer out of a job, eh?. But, I'd like to also do something for the younger school kids as well. Like you said, before the culture indoctrinates them.
    Rock on! Lori

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