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Who Is Nobody? – A doll without a face builds character in young

Nobody is teaching pupils in Trent Hills and Stirling respect for themselves and respect for others. And we can thank the Rotary Clubs of Campbellford and Stirling for that. These clubs have funded the introduction of the Who Is NOBODY?™ literacy program into local classrooms. It’s a remarkable tool that encourages young people to get involved in good causes at the same time that it nurtures their self-esteem and enhances their academic performance.

You see so many kids who have so much potential and unique qualities who try so hard to be the same as other people

Guided by founder Kelly Clark, Who Is NOBODY?™ is a teacher’s aid for Grades 1-8 that provides all the tools needed to implement engaging character education throughout the year with minimal use of class time. Kelly’s program includes a teacher’s manual, student manual, denim ‘nobody’ doll, 6 posters, a scrapbook, a binder and a bag to carry it all around in. In one school one of the students noted that “Nobody” was kind of a sad name so the class officially called him “Buddy”. It appeared to fit.

They’re basing their worth on whether other people like them or if they’re wearing the right clothes

Who Is Nobody? - Rotary Literacy InitiativeIt all starts with a gingerbread-shaped doll that hasn’t any features. Children give it its character and in the process build up their own. “Nobody” is the brainchild of Kelly Clark, an elementary school teacher currently on leave from the Toronto District School Board. “You see so many kids who have so much potential and unique qualities (who) try so hard to be the same as other people,” she says. “They’re basing their worth on whether other people like them or if they’re wearing the right clothes.” Usually, it’s the bully figure among them who serves as an inappropriate role model.”

Students work on the five Who Is NOBODY? steps individually to discover their own interests, and to create their own way of being kind to living things. Each student has a turn to take the doll home for a week and add something to it that represents what they’ve done. In doing this, the students get to add attachments to the doll that represent the community outreach projects they have undertaken so that over the school year, Nobody eventually becomes a Somebody who’s helped others. The students present the doll, their stories and pictures to the class with the good deeds being recorded in a scrapbook.

If you are interested in bringing the program to your area or wish to learn more about it, visit www.whoisnobody.com

 

This article was published in the Rotary International North American Literacy Newsletter
April 2008 (vol 2, issue 9)

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