At the end of June, Toronto District School Board teachers from different schools near the Don Mills Neighbourhood, came to a short after-school workshop to receive their generously donated kits from the Joss Foundation and Don Mills Rotary Club.
Teachers learned that these literacy-based, self-esteem building kits are:
1. A great ice-breaker for the first week back to school
2. Set up by DVD so there’s NO PREPARATION necessary to get started
3. Self-running for the rest of the year after the first 3 short DVD Lessons!
Each of the recipients proved to be enthusiastic educators who are keen to make a difference in the lives of their students by giving them the opportunity to experience how easy, fun and empowering it is to help others.
As Nora Ephron (screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally) states:
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim— Nora Ephron, screenwriter
Teachers are keen to get started in September by having their school principal deliver a mysterious case (that the program arrives in) to their class. The kit includes 25+ support materials. After they ask students to guess what’s inside the suitcase, they will pull out NOBODY.
Next they watch the 3 short DVD lessons with their students. Together they’ll learn everything they need to know about how to set up the program!
Then the first student will take NOBODY and the support materials home for a week to complete a personally meaningful outreach project. To capture their experience, the student will add an attachment onto NOBODY that represents who they helped and complete a write-up about their experience.
When the first student’s week is complete s/he shares his or her project with the class (exercising all 4 strands of Literacy) before giving the take-home materials to the next student. Just like a baton in a relay.
Who Is NOBODY? just takes 5 minutes of class time each week, similar to show and tell, but with an altruistic, community out-reach twist.
When each student has had a chance to take NOBODY home, students can glue their stories, pictures and photos with NOBODY into the class scrapbook along with the Character Attribute stickers that come with the program.
Together the class celebrates how EVERYBODY has helped NOBODY become SOMEBODY by sharing their experiences in a tangible way via their class mascot and the scrapbook full of stories and artwork that captures their experiences.
Click here to see an example of a completed SOMEBODY!
We love to celebrate students and keep track of all their amazing outreach initiatives by sending teachers FREE “I’M SOMEBODY” Bracelets after they submit their list of projects here!
Teachers always give us the wonderful feedback that students continue their projects after their week with NOBODY is complete! In fact, many teachers have been running the program in their classes for more than 10 years and have stayed in touch with their students. So they’ve been able to report that their students have made their outreach projects an annual event.
We like to think of NOBODY as water-wings or training wheels for students. This is because Who Is NOBODY? supports participants in having a first-hand experience of helping others, while looking for something positive in everyone they meet; just like NOBODY does in order to become SOMEBODY.
It is through being open to other people that we determine our passions and reach our potential!
People introduce us to so many possibilities! That’s why it’s exciting to see students build on the ideas they learn from their peers during their Who Is NOBODY? presentations.
Most importantly, Who Is NOBODY? supports and celebrates students in developing their interests. Interests keep us evolving no matter how young or old we are. They also level the playing field as you can’t buy or sell interests. You can only discover and share them!
We’d like to give a BIG THANK YOU to:
- Linda and Rudy Joss of the Joss Foundation for their donation of Who Is NOBODY? and Who Is GREEN? Education Kits
- The Don Mills Rotary Club for their continued support of our programs
- Leigh Haines and Stacey Michener for helping to organize this donation and hosting the workshop
- The fantastic principals and vice principals who coordinated their donated kit with passionate teachers
- All the go-getter teachers who will be implementing the program over the 2013-2014 school year
As a group we made the goal to have each of the NOBODY’s completed by April 2014 in time for Earth Day!
Below is a list of all involved!
Mason Road Public School
VP Leigh Haines – Teacher: Frank DiPietro (gr. 3) and Meghan Church (gr. 3)
J.A. Leslie Public School
VP Marianne Scott – Teacher: Jennifer Robinson (gr. 2/3)
Cedar Drive Public School
VP Cheryl Yamamoto – Teacher: Julie Polyzotis (gr. 3)
Anson Park Public School
P Teri Molnar – Teacher: Kelly Wolfenberg (gr. 4) and Nicole Vasiliou (gr. 4)
Joseph Brant Public School
VP Dan Puglielli – Teacher: Krista Kilian (Kindergarten & EcoSchools Club)
Best Wishes for the 2013 – 2014 School Year!