When Don Rodman endeavored to pen his story, along with those of several friends who share his philanthropic spirit, he did so with the goal of exposing a new generation to the joy of giving back.
“The giving culture starts at a young age,” says Rodman, “and by showing kids how they can begin to give back now, we start them on a lifelong journey of philanthropy.”
The book has been well-received by educators looking to supplement their students’ traditional education. Two school systems have implemented Rodman’s Ride and Other Stories of Giving in their curriculum.
In Canton, high school juniors taking Ed Amico’s Career Planning course are learning about essentials like college applications, resume writing, and interview skills. Amico, the school’s Career Center and Community Service Coordinator, believes that the message in Rodman’s Ride is a perfect complement to the coursework.
“We discuss and incorporate the word ‘care’ into the class often. We talk about ways of giving back to the community near and far. Giving back is a main theme in our classroom; Mr. Rodman’s book has been a natural extension of that theme, and the value has been an incredible addition to the class. The students are able to learn first-hand that giving back and caring, no matter how big or small, can make a huge impact on peoples’ lives,”
Select students in Boston's public high schools are also learning about giving back through a pilot program, Our Generation Giving Circle. The program is an exciting and impactful supplemental program that emphasizes the building of community assets, capacities, and trust through participation, collaboration, and shared power in philanthropic decision-making.
In addition to reading Rodman’s Ride, the Our Generation Giving Circle students participate in facilitated discussions and an essay contest. Ultimately, the budding philanthropists will use their learnings to collaborate and deliberate over how to invest a $15,000 grant into their community.
Rodman couldn’t be happier to see the stories in the book influencing local teens. “Philanthropy is not just about giving back; it is about influencing others to give back as well. That’s what we’re accomplishing here.”
CANTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ON RODMAN’S RIDE AND OTHER STORIES OF GIVING:
“After I finish reading the book, I will keep the five guiding principles in the back of my mind. I can use these throughout my entire life.”
“Reading Rodman’s Ride has changed my way of thinking and taught me several valuable lessons. One example being that philanthropy is not a gift of charity but rather an act of sharing opportunity and experiences of goodwill.”
“All of these people showed me how diverse generosity can be, how many forms it can come in, and how many places it can root from.”
“The book was filled to the brim with life lessons that everyone should follow and stories to back them up. I liked how the book emphasized the importance of hard work and determination, but also being a kind and caring person to others.”
“If I could take one moral from this book, it is no matter how hard your life may seem, there is always a way to turn it around, but only if you have the same values as Mr. Rodman: kindness, a good work ethic determination, charity, and most of all, hope.”
All proceeds from the sale of the book support Marilyn Rodman Theatre for Kids.
If you know of a school or youth program that could benefit from reading Rodman’s Ride and Other Stories of Giving, please contact us at 508.543.7892. Complimentary books are available.