Global Classrooms in the 306
Cornerstone Christian School – Moose Jaw
Every year Cornerstone Christian School takes 6, grade 9 to 12 students, to assist in serving an orphanage for the handicapped in Ensenada Baja, Mexico. They raise awareness and funds for their expenses and work at the orphanage during the Easter Break for approximately 8 days. During this time the students and teachers assist with the feeding and care of the residents of the orphanage. They take them out into the community and do recreational activities like gardening, sports, and walking about the community. The students are also involved in all personal care including support in purchasing footwear and recreation supplies. Lastly, they provide a small stipend from the funds raised for the Mexican women that volunteer at the orphanage.
Teacher: Bill Green
Haultain Community School – Regina
Haultain’s grade 5 and 6 class is involved in a year long project learning about Global Issues and becoming Global Citizens. They began the year learning about issues in Africa, South America, and Asia regarding water shortages or accessibility, crop problems and working with cooperatives. They continued to learn about Fair Trade products and why we should purchase them when we can. They became involved and part of an international peace project for International Peace Day on September 21st: http://globalpeacemovie.weebly.com/. Read more.
Currently, the class is working on service projects to support local and international organizations such as The Humane Society and The World Wildlife Federation. In January and February 2012 the class was involved in coordinating Project Love for Regina Public Schools.
The class stays current about global issues by watching “Week in Rap” and by communicating with students around the globe through their blog: www.tinyurl.com/haultain which has approximately 3,500 visitors a week. By the end of the year they hope to skype with other classrooms and work on collaborative projects together. Hide content.
Teacher: Kimberly Brown
George Lee School – Regina
In the Social Justice 8 class this fall, they researched social issues in Regina, Saskatchewan and Canada. Our social issues research included Cultural Genocide, Homelessness, AFN, FSIN, Immigration in Saskatchewan, Poverty in Regina and Gender Equity which resulted in finding out about the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign with Plan Canada. ‘Because I am a Girl’ became their global issue, which helps to turn impoverished girls into empowered women in Africa. Soon after learning about this campaign, they created some goals, which were to provide “sanitary essentials, clean water for a family, literacy training for two women and a girl’s scholarship.” The class accomplished these goals by raising $885 for ‘Because I am Girl,’ by selling T-shirts and holding bake sales. Read more.
At the school Christmas concert on December 6 and 7, they presented their Social Issues projects to over 300 people! In total, they sold 33 T-shirts to friends, family and George Lee students and staff. In addition, they sold ‘Because I am a Girl’ pins, pencils and bookmarks to spread the word about their cause.
The grade seven and eight students made two dozen pieces of baking which was sold on December 14th and 15th at recess. The bake sale was organized, hosted and run by the George Lee grade eights.
The class is now exploring building schools and homes in other countries and in Regina, so “Habitat for Humanity” is now of interest to them as well. Hide content.
Teacher: Cynthia Moore
St. Vital Catholic School
St. Vital School is a K-8 school and is in its fourth year of exploration the UN Millennium goals. From this, some of the classes have developed their two mandates; to focus on being kids helping kids and to split any money raised evenly between our local neighbours in need and our global neighbours in need.
Locally the class has given money to the Food Bank’s Empty Stocking Fund and it’s milk program as both these focus on helping kids. Read more.
Globally the class has given money towards school construction and programming needs in Ecuador via Free the Children. During the first year the class raised $2000 allowing for a donation of $1000 to each, our second year the class raised $2600 allowing over $1300 each, and the third year the class raised $2800 resulting in $1400 each.
This year students and teachers alike embarked on a special adventure that sparked even more commitment. They raised money to take 39 students from Grades 5-8, 6 teens, and 11 adults to a We Day in Winnipeg where they were inspired to continue their social justice efforts and were able to understand directly the difference we really are making when we put our efforts together with other young people out there doing the same.
After We Day, several students showed interest in reviving this concept; they hope to develop a similar event to be presented later this school year.
This year, during the usual December fundraising campaigns they were able to raise $2000 allowing $1000 for each organization. This is a record for this early in the year. In December they traditionally sell candy-grams, chocolate kisses, and have a movie/lunch for all students for fundraisers.
In February, they hold a Poverty Hearts campaign selling paper hearts for .25 cents each and classrooms display all the hearts their group bought. The class purchasing the most hearts wins a prize. This campaign usually nets several hundred dollars. They save the hearts and reuse them the next year which means this year they will be using the same hearts created four years ago.
They have also previously used drama creations as a means to promote awareness of poverty issues and what might be done to help eliminate poverty. One such event, entitled “Welcome to Poverty” featured reference to the UN Millennium goals pertaining to extreme hunger, health, education, and sustainable development. After We Day, several students showed interest in reviving this concept; we hope to develop a similar event to be presented later this school year.
The students hope to assist with a new program of the Food Bank’s, organizing weekend packs of kids-friendly food being distributed through their school. The students have won the Big Dreamers Award from Free the Children where $500 from a corporate sponsor, in this case Club Penguin, was given to Free the Children on our behalf allowing us to designate further support of the school in Ecuador.
In addition to the regular campaigning, after the Haitian earthquake the school raised an extra $520 designated for this cause. When they attended We Day, students and parents responded to the call for a special African drought victims collection; several hundred dollars were donated on the school’s behalf.
These students have been doing this kind of work since they were in Grade 2. They seem to have a strong sense of civic duty and express genuine concern when faced with information about social justice issues. Their level of understanding has expanded and they are beginning to come to significant realizations. On their own, they discussed how sending planes of food (an initial thought) was not really a long term solution as the food would eventually run out so perhaps help with providing seeds and agriculture skills might be needed so they could grow their own food and therefore feed themselves without handouts. With very little guidance, they began exploring the concept of sustainability. The class committed to a “Vow of Silence” campaign on November 30th. The “Vow of Silence” is a Free the Children awareness raising campaign where children are silent for one day for the purpose of drawing attention to issues that have silenced children around the world. It was apparent that they understood the purpose for this campaign when recently a few of them talked with a local newspaper reporter who asked about it; they listed off issues such as lack of medicine for illnesses, lack of access to education, and the problem of children being abducted for the purpose of becoming child soldiers. Hide content.
Teachers: Amanda Wasilewski and Kelly Waters
Among the selected nominations were some really inspiring teachers and students who are working hard for change. We would like to take the opportunity to recognize the great work you have been doing and encourage you to continue the exciting and engaging work in the future.
Teacher, Laurel LaBar-Ahmed at École Massey has been teaching and facilitating learning through the “Looking at Sustainability via a Global Education Lens” though which many of her students and their global justice projects have been involved in 2011-2012. One example of this is their partnership project with Green Roots Sustainable Living Prithvinagar School (Nepal) whereby the students are helping to raise awareness with local business folk about the resource needs of this school via a presentation and “Sustainability Lunch” that the students are organizing (date T.B.A.). The class has already helped to fundraise and raise awareness for the overall project via an evening dedicated to community sustainability through the Arts (November 2011).
Laurel LaBar-Ahmed at École Massey and their projects continued:
A “Sustainability Viewpoints” class Zine production involving community members that the students have interviewed. (Winter 2012)
Massey School Ecological Sanctuary: Bridging the Gaps and Discovering Canadian Ecosystems, a hands-on project that involves the creation of an endangered ecosystem and species ecological park on the school grounds. Green Roots and the University of Regina’s Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC) will be assisting with the development and maintenance of the park. (Ongoing)
A two-day Winter Outdoor School at Dallas Valley, in which the students will learn, together with their grade 7 peers, practical and hands-on means to survive outdoors under varying conditions and situations. (February 2012)
A twenty-six piece “Sustainability” mural painted and designed by the class. It will be on display at the Regina Public School Board in March 2012.
Planning, organizing, and hosting a one-day Eco-Fair at our school. This will be done with the grade 6s and 7s, HELP International and other community partners and associations. It will be open to the general public. (May 2012)
Brainstorming and organizing an intensive one-day “Sustainability Field Trip” which will be piloted, together with the Regina Public School Board’s Outdoor Education Department. The class will also be preparing a 2012 fall workshop for teachers about how to prepare for such a field trip.
A three-day Outdoor Environmental School at HELP’s Center for Ecology, Research and Training (near Weyburn). While there, the students will be participating in exciting, innovative Green and Zero Waste technology research in collaboration with environmental engineering interns from across Canada and abroad. (June 2012)
Creating a three-part documentary about the various projects together with Mae-Star Productions. The final video project will be screened on the opening night of Massey School’s Ecological Sanctuary: Bridging the Gaps and Discovering Canadian Ecosystems in September 2012. DVD #1 “Seeding the Interest” will also be entered for consideration of the “Learning for a Sustainable Future” 2012 Jack Layton Award. The final package will be used, in collaboration with the University of Regina, and the Ministry of Education, as an information resource for pre-service teachers and teachers throughout the province and Canada.