Global Classrooms in the 306
The aim of this project was to recognize Saskatchewan school groups that are helping to create a more just and sustainable world through their engagement in meaningful global citizenship activities. We had several nominations from K-12 classrooms across the province, where engaged teachers and students are creating awareness about global issues and demonstrating the promotion of global citizenship and an understanding of international issues. The work you and your students are doing to engage in these global initiatives is commended, and this inspiring work is what the Global Classrooms Initiative is all about.
Here are their video profiles.
Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute (LCBI)
LCBI educates their students about social justice by first making them aware of inequality and injustice in their own school and community. If you can’t form relationships with people of all ages and races in your home town, it is not likely you will ever understand global issues. Their volunteer programs and trip experiences helps to show students that they are fortunate to have opportunities like these, to join with others to learn, to serve, and to feel part of the community. Read more.
“Sometimes caring attitudes produce needed action, and sometimes needed action eventually produces caring attitudes. The order doesn’t really matter. Social justice needs to happen and people’s needs must be met whether or not we feel like it” (Margo, Linsley, teacher at LCBI).
The staff at LCBI have made their “Take Out Tuesday” program the focal point of their relationship-building charity-based work. The goal of this program is to make students into global citizens by providing them with a variety of opportunities to volunteer in the hope that they will so that they will volunteer and to work for social justice their whole lives.
The student body and staff volunteer on one Tuesday each month volunteering in the following ways:
- serving at the Friendship Inn in Saskatoon, which provides meals and services to persons experiencing homelessness and poverty;
- spending time with participants at Variety Place, which provides employment and services to adults who are mentally or physically challenged;
- fulfilling the needs and requests from community organizations or individuals such as creating programs of entertainment for seniors, preparing vegetables for the food bank and items for family literacy kits, etc.;
- volunteering with organizations including SCYAP (Saskatoon Community Youth Art Project), Habitat for Humanity, Global Gathering, Food for the Hungry (International Medical Equipment Distribution – IMED), and Abbeyfield House.
It is important to LCBI that their volunteering is not a “one-off” project, but multi-faceted where students choose how they want to make meaningful contributions to their community. In addition to the “Take Out Tuesday” volunteering, the SRC sponsors a child through Compassion; the school collected sweaters for Syrian refugees for Lutheran World Relief; they send shoeboxes of gifts through Operation Christmas Child, a program of Samaritan`s Purse; and they deliver Meals on Wheels several days each semester.
LCBI staff want students to know that the financial or material donations along with the volunteering for others are important, but not the most meaningful unless we open our minds and hearts to learn from others. Each year, several students and staff are privileged to serve on short term mission opportunities that take place over the winter school break. In February 2014, a team is travelling to Ghana, through Free the Children, to be with and learn from the host families about community and need. In past years, teams have gone to Grenada, Mexico, Washington, D.C., Vancouver Downtown Eastside, and Victoria B.C. In the cities, students helped local non-profits work to end poverty by serving persons experiencing homelessness. In Mexico, several LCBI teams have served at orphanages and migrant worker camps. Last year’s Grenada team volunteered at schools and an orphanage, and built relationships with youth. They learned how the people of Grenada had united as a nation to rebuild their country after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan, and saw how they value community above all. Hide content.
Vibank Regional School
Social justice is the process through which society attains a more equitable distribution of power in political, economic and social realms (Hunsaker and Hanzl, 2003). This process may only be attainable if people are firstly made aware that there is inequity and injustice in our society; and secondly, if they are provided with opportunities to be critically empathetic and take action on changing these situations. Read more.
The Student Leadership Council (SLC), encouraged by Vice Principal Nicole Strandlund, at Vibank Regional School has been working hard to “be the change”. The SLC has increased awareness in their school of a variety of social justice issues as well as providing people with opportunities and ways to be involved and take action. They have done this through various awareness campaigns, letter writing, dialoguing with their fellow peers and communities and volunteering countless hours at various projects.
Over the past two years they have taken on many social justice initiatives, many of them related to Free the Children’s 5 pillars of sustainable development: education, clean water and sanitation, healthcare, alternative income, food security. Last year the SLC students focused on water security, they brought in presenters from Free the Children to talk about access to water, they fundraised to build wells in developing nations and they hosted documentary nights to help raise awareness about water. This year the SLC was inspired to take more action and be more involved. They began their year with a food drive that gathered non-perishable food items for the Regina and Area Food Bank. Then, they went in to the Food Bank and volunteered, helping to sort and organize tons of food! While at the Food Bank they learned about the Food Bank, the lack of food security in our area, and some reasons that people may need to access the food bank.
After completing their campaign around Food Security and attending We Day Saskatchewan, SLC students were inspired to raise more awareness around Gender Inequity. So, they decided to host a Gender Equity Awareness Week with the hopes that it would create dialogue around facts that women are still oppressed worldwide, including in Canada! During this week students shared facts and information about the women’s suffrage movement, gendercide, stereotypes and much more. Students also had games and activities at lunch surrounding these topics, a showing of Sheryl Wu Dunn’s TED talk, co-author of Half the Sky, and an activity that involved all students in grade 8-12 talking about and determining whether statements placed on their lockers on Gender Equity were true or false.
There are many aspects of charity that tie into the Vibank Regional School SLC’s annual campaigns but it is largely through gathering food for the food bank and raising funds for Free the Children. Charity is valuable in the sense that it provides for or gives to others while creating an opening for dialogue and further action surrounding an issue. For example, the SLC gathered food for the food bank, but then they took it to the food bank, volunteered their time and became directly involved while learning about the root causes that force people to utilize that service within their area. It creates an opportunity to dialogue about how resources are distributed throughout society and whether or not it is equitable and acceptable.
The SLC utilized the holiday season to raise funds and awareness about Free the Children’s campaign “Brick by Brick”. This initiative builds schools in developing nations and raises awareness about access to education globally. SLC students at Vibank sold Christmas balls for their tree, sold Rafiki Education bracelets and sold popcorn balls at their Candy Cane Dance.
The SLC has many upcoming plans. They plan to engage in the following awareness building activities:
- host a letter writing campaign with Amnesty International;
- host a North American Lifestyle Awareness week where students will learn about the impact of their consumer choices on the rest of the world;
- take part in We Stand Together, a Free the Children campaign that engages students across Canada about becoming more aware about the realities of colonization that continue to impact Indigenous peoples today;
- Earth Awareness week where we will remember to “turn out the lights”.
These students are committed to social justice initiatives all while working tirelessly to promote school spirit and a multitude of school events! Hide content.
Luther College High School
Chaplain Larry Fry, leader of the Christian Ethics program at Luther College High School, organizes the annual trip to El Salvador. The focus of the program is based on justice, solidarity and becoming an ally with El Salvadorian people. Students learn about development issues facing El Salvador through the lens of Liberation Theology which serves as the motivating force for much of the justice work being done in El Salvador. Read more.
Some of the development issues students spend time learning about include water and food security, gang violence, and anti-mining movements. A focus of the course is also learning about the history of Liberation Theology which has its roots in El Salvador. The program culminates in an eight day trip to El Salvador where students tour NGO’s working on a variety of development issues, as well as tour important historical sites around the capital of San Salvador. Students also spend three days with host families in a small rural village where they learn first-hand about the lives of sustenance farming families. Upon return from the trip, students are required to apply their learning to an action project in their own community. Some students have gotten seriously involved with Amnesty International, while others are pursuing global, international, or development study majors at university. Last year’s class produced a video which was shown at the national Lutheran Church convention; that same convention adopted a social justice statement with regards to resource development. The video was produced to give local people of El Salvador a voice to tell their story. Hide content.
For further information please contact SCIC’s Public Engagement Coordinator, Steffany at (306) 757-4669 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Profiles of Previous Global Classrooms Winners: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | All Class Videos