Never Too Young to Lead

It all started when my class and I went on one of our community walks. This was happening because we were researching in order to answer the essential question: “What makes a good community?” so that we could then build our very own collaborative 3D community (I’ve written about this incredible project here if you’d like more info). It’s been a hot minute since we’ve been able to do this project (thanks Covid) so I was THRILLED to be able to tackle it once again this year. (Note, I shouldn’t be so dramatic, last year we were able to do a virtual version of the project in Minecraft EDU while students learned from home, and that was pretty neat, too… just not the same).

As we were walking through our community, we came across a bus shelter where a homeless man had set up and was sleeping. After we got back to school, it was almost the end of the day, so we packed up and headed home for the weekend. During the weekend, though, my colleagues and I couldn’t stop thinking about this homeless man; and it turns out we weren’t alone. By the time I arrived to school on that Monday morning, I had an e-mail in my inbox from a mom of a student in my class explaining that her daughter had really been impacted by seeing that man sleeping in the streets, and she wanted to do something to help. From there, the most beautifully authentic opportunity to lead grew, and we ran with it!

We started off by having a class discussion about what we saw during our walk and then reading a few books on homelessness including : Ruby’s Hope by Hannah Taylor, The Teddy Bear by David McPhail and some parts of On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty by Dr. Jillian Roberts and Jaime Caspar. After discussing different ways that we could help, we decided to collect donation for Siloam Mission, a humanitarian organization that alleviates hardships & provides transition opportunities for those experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg.

After that, we made a list of items that the shelter needed most, and we sent this information to our families. Donations kept coming in, and we ended up with 6 laundry baskets full of donations for the homeless!

Our sweet little leader in class truly made an impact. She and her family went to drop off the collected items and we couldn’t be more proud of her kind heart and initiative!

ps – as for our collaborative 3D community, as always, it was phenomenal. My favourite part though? When our little class leader decided to change what she wanted to build from Canadian Tire to a homeless shelter. You, sweetheart, are making huge kindness ripples in the world, and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

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