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If you ever wondered if a child at the age of 8 could create change in the world your answer is in this story.
Pauline Johnson School in West Vancouver was the first to join the 365give Challenge as a pilot program. Their 10 weeks of giving is now complete and the results have been remarkable. You will read in this guest post by Lindsay Storry, grade 2 teacher, how one class can create social good in just 5 days.
“Part of what I have enjoyed most about being a part of this great project has been the enthusiasm of the students as they work so well together to accomplish our class goals. Although our Gives have always aimed to benefit other people, animals, or the environment, the benefits that we have gained in return are, in my opinion, immeasurable! Hopefully these experiences will translate into lifelong giving, in some capacity or another, for the students. In the meantime the students are keen to do more and were quick to point out that we still have another 3 months left in Grade 2 that could be put to good use as far as giving. So while the 365Give Challenge has officially come to a close, it sounds like the students are keen to keep going. And having witnessed all of their passion, enthusiasm, excitement, and teamwork, I won’t be the one to stand in their way of changing the world, one give at a time!”
Day 1 – Animal Awareness Video
We had some great discussions around endangered animals and the fair and equitable treatment of animals which acted as a spring board for our first Give. The students had wanted to build animal awareness in the school community and beyond by creating a video. I have given the students creative license to make this video as they see fit, with only a few guidelines: the students will work cooperatively in a group of their choosing, and they must create a video that has an educational message. However they choose to go about relaying their message is up to them! Today we spent time planning things out in our groups, as well as working on the computers to create some props. We have some groups who will be acting out their message, and others who will take a journalist approach, but all the students have been highly engaged and working well together.
Day 2 – Clean up at Dundarave
On this gorgeous sunny day, we set out on a lovely walk through the community on our way down to Dundarave Beach to do our clean-up. Mr. Hugh Hamilton, an experienced and knowledgeable volunteer with the local Stream Keepers organization, met us there and taught us all so much about how valuable and important this work is to the local environment. We learned that the beach must be clean in order for the smelt to lay their eggs, and the ocean must be clean so that the fry have a comfortable environment to hide in while they prepare to swim out to sea. The students had a fabulous time exploring along the sea shore and discovering as many interesting creatures as they did garbage! The students were highly engaged and had so much fun – it was tough to tear them away at the end of the day! It is clear that on a day like this, there is no better classroom than the great outdoors!
Day 3 – Low-Impact Day
The students decided that they wanted to do another give for the environment, but this time they chose a different format. The students chose a low-impact day at school whereby we do our best not to use any electricity, which includes all electronic devices. With the sun shining, the classroom was still well lit, and the students barely noticed that the lights were not on. However, we quickly discovered that our regular classroom routine was slightly interrupted with a lack of electricity, and thus no internet connection. When doing the calendar routine in the morning, we had to go outside to check a thermometer in order to know the temperature. When students asked me the translation of a particular word in French, we had to use a dictionary to do our search, rather than an iPad. And some of our favourite activities like dance breaks weren’t possible at all!
At the end of the day we discussed how the students felt about being “unplugged”. Most found it quite easy with very little adjustment, while others lamented the fact that there was no music or use of technology. Truthfully, I think that I was the one who had the hardest time being un-plugged all day! It was a good lesson for us all!
Day 4 – Saying “Thanks” to the firefighters
As soon as the bell rang we headed off on a walk to our local West Vancouver fire hall. We met Firefighter Dan who greeted us and invited us in. He introduced us to Firefighter Jeff who was busy sweeping and explained that each day they have various chores to do in order to keep the hall in tip top shape, just like the firefighters. And then all of the sudden the alarm went and he jumped into action, putting his gear on, and running out to the fire truck – they were off to an emergency! Luckily, Marcia, was available to chat with us about fire safety…all in French! When it was time to leave we presented the Chief with our three bags of freshly baked cookies and thanked him for the service of his fire department. He promised to relay our message to the firemen who had been called out on an emergency, and to share the cookies too! Just as we were saying our goodbyes, Firefighter Dan came back in time for us to present him with the cookies! He seemed quite pleased, and the kids were excited too as they walked away with tattoos and key chains.
Day 5 – Sale: Popcorn and school supplies
The students have been gearing up all week for this sale and many had been predicting that this would be their favourite Give of all! We already had a bag full of school supplies to put out, and a couple bags of popcorn. The morning was spent in groups preparing for the sale as we needed to decide on prices and mark each item accordingly. We needed to make signs that advertise the items for sale, as well as where to line up to make your purchases. The morning flew by and the students were a flurry of cooperative activity – it was truly great to see! The students quickly learned that there’s a lot of math that goes into running a store. Albeit short, the small recess was our most successful as we raised $152 in 15 minutes! We raised another $30 at lunch (there really wasn’t much left to sell!). One of the students in the class also donated his birthday money to the cause, so we managed to raise a grand total of $252 for Change Heroes!!!
It just goes to show that an enthusiastic bunch of Grade 2 students can make anything happen!
A very special thank you to Lindsay Storry and her class for making such a positive impact on the world. Your week of giving was truly inspiring.
change the world one day at a time.
We often talk about the ripple effect of giving with students participating in The 365give Challenge. We explain how something as simple as a smile to a stranger can make a positive impact on their day. In turn it may just inspire them to smile at another stranger causing a ripple effect of happiness that has the ability to travel very far.
I recently got to experience the ripple effect first hand and the impact The 365give Challenge is having on both students and strangers. This past week I was given an inspiring letter from a friend that came directly from a student participating in The 365give Challenge. The letter had been handed to her while walking down the street. The fact that the letter got into my hands reminds us how small the world is and how just one simple act of giving can make a big impact. I did my daily give from this letter as I was so inspired by the unique way the students did one of their daily gives.
Now you read the letter and see if you to feel inspire to take just a moment out of your day to give. The ripple effect has the ability to help change the world. Now it’s your turn to keep the ripple going and share this letter to inspire someone else to give today.
We are grade 6 students from Ecole Pauline Johnson, here in West Vancouver. Over the last few months we have been doing a project at our school called “The 365give Challenge” where we are encouraging people to do something kind and helpful every day of the year for the environment, animals or people. We began this project in January and have had a lot of fun doing it! Some of the examples of things that we have done is (did garbage clean-up for our school, wrote letters to our friends to let them know how much we appreciate them, researched online charities that we could donate to and help, had a bmn fake sale to raise funds for those affected by the Typhoon in the Philippines, wrote letters of appreciation to our teachers, smiled at everyone we saw for one day, helped a student that was in need, made friendship chains, mailed seeds to various countries in the world through “Seeds for Change”, weekly school recycling and made recyclable art). Today we would like to bring awareness to our community on different online charities that they can learn about and make donations. Here is a list of a few:
Thanks so much for your time, have a great day!
Division 2, Ecole Pauline Johnson
A very special thank you to Sarah Fee and her class for making such a
positive impact on the world. Your week of giving was truly inspiring and the ripple will keep going as more people give from your inspiring letter.
change the world one day at a time.
The 365give Challenge launched 4 weeks ago at Pauline Johnson School in West Vancouver. The success continues as the students embrace their daily giving and create new ways to raise money for charity, complete acts of kindness, make donations to help the environment and so much more.
Does education and altruism work together to change the world?
Every day – with an impact that will help make students global change makers for a lifetime.
Sylvie Sturgess, teacher of one of the schools grade 4 class participating in the 365give Challange started their week of daily giving by brainstormed ideas for their daily giving. Their plans were big!
1) Day 1 started in class as they made jewellery, origami and other small items to sell at school to other students to raise funds for a charity of their choice. The decision has been a difficult one with so many great organizations to choose from. Would it be The World Wildlife Fund, The BC-SPCA, a local homeless shelter or Food Bank? All were at the top of the list of the students suffestions .
2) The environment was on the top of their list for their daily giving. They collected dead batteries for recycling, clothing and household items for donation to the Salvation Army and toys for BC Children’s Hospital. Not only were they giving back to the environment but doing so much good for local organizations that help so many people. One special give was to a plant after a lesson from Earth Bites on a companion plants for gardens. The students wanted to protect a vulnerable plant that they found in the school’s forested area. It was a great opportunity to follow up on the companion class lesson of the morning and understand how they could help it grow, in addition to seeking resources to protect it from the cold.
3) What better way to give than to help at your own school? The school is in the midst of a construction project and the library was still packed in boxes so volunteers helped the librarian reorganize the library so the entire student body could enjoy the fruits of their volunteer work.
4) With Valentines’s Day just around the corner the children worked hard creating Valentine’s Day cards to distribute to seniors they met during a recent Christmas Carol event to make sure they new how much they were appreciated and remember on Valentine’s Day.
5) In British Columbia we celebrate Family Day in February. The ideas were flowing from the children on ways they could complete a give to embrace the Family Day spirit even though it wasn’t a school day. Students were intending to help at home with chores (without being asked!), some students said they would have a lemonade stand to raise additional funds to add to their fundraising for the week, others would help in their neighbourhoods by cleaning up or doing chores for neighbours in need. That’s what we call Family Day at 365give!
Throughout the week, students made announcements on the school PA system every morning to share their daily gives. They promoted their handmade crafts and asked for all the students to bring in donations for The Salvation Army and The BC Children’s Hospital. The entire school participated in the 365give Challenge this week!
Teaching children how to give at school rubs off on everyone. Not only is it having a positive effect on the class doing the 365give Challenge but the entire school can participate in unique and creative ways to give back to the world every day. As quoted by the students teacher:
“ Students definitely relished the idea of helping others and the environment, which was nice to see.”
A very special thank you to Sylvie and her class for making such a
positive impact on the world.