Thursday, December 23, 2010

So How did the $0.25 a day work out??

Our winter campaign of charity has finished and I have some tremendous results to share with you.  For the readers of this blog you will have read this post. In it I describe the 3 week plus 3 day push to have students contribute $0.25 of their own money everyday.  They were to give up something small once a week and contribute THEIR money and not their parents to raise money for some holiday charities.  I blogged about this, put it out on twitter to try to get other schools to participate.  I even created a wiki to house all of this information.

In the end I had one other school participate.  Karl Fisch and his fantastic math students at AHS in Colorado participated.  Here is an excerpt from Karl's post;

Our goal was a quarter a day per student for the remaining ten days we had of class, which worked out to $62.50 for the twenty-five students in my class. We ended up at $77.26. (Including one student who chased me down in the cafeteria on the last day before break – which is three days after the last day my class meets – to hand me 85 cents.) I said I would match up to $100, so I’ll be matching with $77.26. My Dad apparently still reads my blog and he said he’d match at 50% of what I matched, so that’s another $38.63. And then Rob in Afghanistan, who I’ve blogged about before, sent me an email letting me know he would be sending me a $100 check as well.

So that works out to $293.15 (okay, I’m gonna chip in another $6.85 to make that $300). Now, I know that’s not a huge amount of money, and I didn’t take advantage of the full educational possibilities here (see some of
Bill Ferriter’s excellent work with Kiva), but it will still make a difference for the entrepreneur(s) we fund with this (and, of course, when it gets paid back I’ll re-loan it again and again – that’s part of the beauty of Kiva).
Thank you Karl for giving us at Sargent Park someone else to look at during this project.  It is hard sometimes to do things on your own.

So how did we do at Sargent Park.  Over the 3 week 3 day period we raised $519.  This is increadable.  If the students all had brought in $0.25 we would have been at approximately $650.  I am impressed and awestruck. Thank you Sargent Park Grade 8 Students.  Your generosity is appreciated.

On the last day of school we had a movie morning to celebrate the completion of our work.  When the movie was over I told the students that instead of buying the treats or candy this year I was donating to Agape Table.  In front of them I pulled up the web donate and proceeded to donate $150 to this worthy charity.  I did this with a purpose.  I had to show them that adults donate too and I wanted them to see the power of donating.  This was further amplified when we started donating their charity donations.

This is how it broke down.  We gave $300 to 1HopeWinnipeg.  This local charity operates 5 different shelters around the city.  $300 will help out tremendously.  The rest of their charitable donations went to Kiva.  This is also where things got really fun.  Imagine if you will over 100 students in a classroom.  Looking at a Smartboard with the Kiva Site up.  I now explain what Kiva does and how it works.  As a group now we start reading the stories on the Kiva site and choosing recipients.  The kids ate this up.  They were cheering and whooping at every donation that we made.  In total we made 11 donations to Kiva helping finance Micro loans around the world.

I have to admit the power of the group being there when we made all of these donations is now a key element in this project.  Kids donated the money they have to see it at work.

Where do we go from here? I would like to get more schools around the globe participating in this project.  Have them find a way for kids to donate money and see the power of philanthropy.  Already the Grade 7 team in my building is incorporating this idea into their study of the Developing World and will do a smaller but similar campaign in the new year.  I still would like to see it develop more.  There are many 13 year olds in school across the city.  If more of them participated we could really make a difference.  With that said there are many school children all over the globe.  Imagine if we harnessed that power.  Wow that would make another good post and a great story.  Thanks for listening and best of the season to all of you out there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Once Again I have Amazing Kids... Pay it Forward

We start of our 2 Minutes to Make a Difference Project every year with Pay it Forward.  We get the students to watch the movie, reflect on the ideas expressed in the movie and then have them go out and do a Random Act of Kindness.

It all started three years ago when my new teaching team mate Michele was first introduced to the 2 minutes project.  She said that for a few years she had been doing a Pay it Forward unit with her students.  The two ideas meshed perfectly with each other.  Here is an excerpt from the movie...

"You see, I do something real good for three people. And then when they ask how
they can pay it back, I say they have to Pay It three more people. Each. So, nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven." He turned on the calculator, punched in a few numbers. "Then it sort of spreads out, see, to eighty-one, then two hundred forty-three, then seven hundred twenty-nine, then two thousand, one hundred eighty-seven. See how big it gets?"

The first year students were a bit perplexed with the whole idea of doing a random act of kindness.  They went and babysat younger siblings for free, shoveled walks and did chores. While these were altruistic and doing a good deed they were weak in the "Random Act" and helping aspects of the Pay it Forward Movement.  Still when the goal is to awaken a feeling of giving and citizenship in 13 year old kids it was somewhat of a success.

The next year we started off the same way as in the past.  One small change occurred the students talked about all of the possible activities they could do right after the movie.  They were excited and almost egging each other on to do bigger and better deeds.  This time the students donated toys to hospitals, volunteered at daycares and sent pillows to soldiers overseas.  The students really understood what was needed to do a Pay it Forward activity.  The best examples was Elijah and her group.  They pooled their own money and created gift baskets for the Children's Hospital.

Which brings us to this year.  I was skeptical of what could be accomplished.  Last years crew had done a great job and I was extremely hopeful that this years crew would be similar.  I was not disappointed.  The students did a great job.  We had boys delivering toys to churches, writing letters to soldiers overseas, and caroling outside of a supermarket to raise funds for a homeless shelter and taking toys to the Childrens Hospital

Here are all of the projects.  Please leave comments behind for the students they would appreciate that.

In an interesting twist I was interviewed by the local CBC with a student about Pay it Forward.  


They had been talking about it all day on the station.  People had called in talking about buying coffee for strangers and purchasing their parking... I emailed the station and told them about the students and their projects.  They interviewed myself and a student.  I guess they now know what a "Pay it forward" can look like.  140 students doing random acts of kindness really ROCKS.  I have great students.