Amazing Class of the Week!
Mondays became our favourite day of the week as the children waited to see what new addition would be on Nobody— Shelley Klugman, teacher
School of the Week Teacher: Shelley Klugman
Grade: Junior Kindergarten
School: The Leo Baeck Day School
School Board: Canadian Accredited Independent Schools
This was my first year experiencing the enormous power and exposure of teaching character building with the use of the Free the Children, Who is Nobody kit. The program is built around acts of kindness towards, people, animals and the environment.
While the Who is Nobody project is aimed at elementary aged children we were using it for 4 and 5 year old Junior Kindergarten children.
Since our children were so young the onus fell on the families to engage in meaningful dialogue with their children surrounding the details of the project. This in turn bridged the learning between school and home. Astonishingly, the adoption by both parents and early learners was both quick and comprehensive.
It was truly remarkable to see such young children presenting their contribution with such a deep understanding of the positive changes they made. The class asked deep and insightful questions and showed genuine pride for everyone’s contributions. This JK class was completely committed to making this nameless, featureless and empty doll, represent something loved and cared for by the class at The Leo Baeck Day School.
Our project started with a collaborative class idea of collecting small change and bringing it to school in a container that was decorated in class. So many meaningful learning opportunities arose from this act of kindness. It became a forum for teaching math concepts such as coin values, sorting, measurement and patterning. Additionally, since some families sent in coins from other countries, we got to look at the globe and trace their origin. This exposed them to global awareness of currency and cultures. The value of learning also translated into an added bonus as we were able to make a donation to free the children in the amount of $816.62 from all three JK classes.
The natural focus of learning with this project was character education. In particular, we were able to link it to many of our IB attributes of a learner. It also lent itself to math and literacy. Since we are a reform Jewish Day School we promote Tzedakah (charity), compassion and caring for others.
The group came up with beautiful acts of kindness which included donating money to Pantene, who make wigs for kids undergoing chemotherapy. We also donated to Stopgap who provide ramps to enable wheelchair access to stores. With the addition of each part, Nobody became somebody pretty quickly.
One of the students noticed that winter was approaching, and rather than collecting money, he asked his mom to take him to the store to buy lots of mittens, gloves, hats and socks for the homeless. His mom took him to a shelter called “Out of the cold” where he proudly handed over the items.
Mondays became our favourite day of the week as the children waited anxiously to see what new addition would be added to Nobody.
This project exceeded all our expectations of learning and we can’t wait to see what our classes of 2018 will do with the project. We highly recommend it for children and classes of all ages. It provided a partnership of learning with the school, the children and their families and a community that felt good about making a difference.
This project empowered our youngest students in our school, the JK class, showing them that they had what it took to make a difference in the lives of others. In turn it boosted their self-esteem and taught them to be open minded and have empathy and kindness. I highly recommend this program for children of all ages. Introduce it, sit back, and be blown away by the natural instincts in children to protect.
– Shelley Klugman – Leo Baeck Day School, Jewish IB (International Baccalaureate) World School.
To view the article in French, highlighting a class who participated in Qui est PERSONNE?, please click here.
Have you or your child participated in Who Is NOBODY? What project did he or she do? Please leave a sentence in the comment section below or upload a photo here to inspire others!