Grade 2 students at Auburn Bay School learned about social activism by looking at examples of change makers in their own community. As students considered how others have effected change, students expressed interest in doing something themselves that would make a difference in our school, community, and even the world!
In Science, students had been learning about water and how lucky we are in Canada to have access to clean drinking water. Students were shocked to learn how some people in the world must travel long distances to collect water that often contains many harmful contaminants. This is how the Water Challenge began.
The Grade 2 class decided to drink fewer sugary drinks for two weeks, so that the money that would have been spent on these drinks could be donated to countries without a reliable source of clean water. Students chose to make donations to Friends of Haiti, a charitable organization that supports Haitians with education, healthcare and sports, among other things. During the two weeks, students worked diligently to understand the perspective of someone from Haiti by learning about the country. Students even had the opportunity to FaceTime with the Haitian director of Friends of Haiti. After this interview, it was clear that the students had developed a personal connection to the project.
As students learned more, the project grew and grew. Before long, students were passionate to share this message with the rest of the school. They organized presentations in other classrooms to raise awareness, and even wrote their own scripts for a class video. At the end of the two weeks, many students chose to give up their free time to collect donations for the Water Challenge during Student-Led interviews. By the end of the interviews, the class had raised $224 for Friends of Haiti and donations are continuing to be collected today.
Click here to watch a video about the Water Challenge project.
“I feel very fortunate to have been a part of experiencing the generosity of these students and this school. I believe that the sense of global citizenship that students have developed, and that I see expressed in the classroom, is an invaluable asset that these students will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said Kristen Visscher, student teacher at Auburn Bay Schoo. “I want to express a sincere thank you to everyone that helped make the Water Challenge a success!”