Kids take a look at themselves and figure out what they like, rather than fixate on what they perceive to be negative— Mike Nabuurs, Radio Host
Who Is NOBODY?™ is highlighted on Hamilton’s Talk 820 (Runs 11:50)
Hamilton’s Talk 820 –
Featuring: Kelly Clark –
Director Who Is NOBODY?™ Project.
Audio at a Glance
Mike Nabuurs described Who Is NOBODY? as a tool to help kids take a look at themselves and figure out what they like, rather than fixate on what they perceive to be negative. Mr. Nabuurs asked many thoughtful questions. For instance:
Mike Nabuurs: What need does Who Is NOBODY? fulfill?
Kelly: It helps students stop trying to build self-esteem in superficial ways. Instead of thinking they need the coolest running shoes to be popular, kids have a chance to take control. Who Is NOBODY? guides students through steps that help them figure out their strengths and use them to do a good deed. The result is that kids feel good for reasons that are earned and lasting.
Mike Nabuurs: Basically Who Is NOBODY? gets kids to ask themselves “What is it about you that you can like?”
Kelly: Yes. The beauty of getting young people to direct their energy on their interests is that you can’t buy or sell them. Interests are in everybody to discover and share. Who Is NOBODY? has been in inner-city schools where some students have little support and also private schools where kids have tutors and lots of resources. Getting kids to focus on their interests levels the playing field.
Mike Nabuurs: Do boys turn their nose up at NOBODY?
Kelly: NOBODY is a way for kids to make their projects tangible. Many teachers say at the start “I don’t know how this is going to fly.” But we always hear back from these teachers with animated stories. Like just the other day a Grade 8 teacher said the toughest boy in the class did math with NOBODY on his knee. NOBODY allows students to be a rebel of a different kind. They get attention for doing something positive. NOBODY is a class mascot and participants just have fun with it.
Mike Nabuurs: Right. So it’s an opportunity for kids to express themselves in a way that they might not normally get a chance, which is a good thing, especially for boys. I bet NOBODY has learned a lot about hockey?!
Kelly: Students really run with whatever they’re interested in. It can be art, animals, sports or another focus. Then they apply their interest to an outreach project. There have been petitions for safer conduct in hockey done as a Who Is NOBODY? project and lots of students have donated equipment they’ve outgrown that has allowed other youth to play hockey who would not have been able to take part otherwise.
Mike Nabuurs: How is the program set up?
Kelly: Teachers and students learn together—so there’s no workshop or preparation necessary for teachers. The class just watches a short DVD and then the program is ready. As a teacher I know there’s not enough hours in the day to tap into every student. Who Is NOBODY?’s DVD and take-home resources, like the student guide, give each student a chance to learn and share what they’re excited about and the power of that skill; what happens when they use it to make a difference in their community.
Mike Nabuurs: What happens at the end?
Kelly: NOBODY becomes SOMEBODY. The mascot is basically a mirror that reflects all the strengths in the class. The program also comes with a scrapbook that also captures all the cool projects kids do. Students write a story, draw a picture and present their experience so it ties in all 4 strands of literacy: reading, writing, oral & visual as well as media literacy.
Mike Nabuurs: How long does NOBODY stay at each student’s house?
Kelly: Depends when the teacher starts. If it’s early in the year NOBODY usually spends a week with each student. Teachers can begin as late as April. There are benefits to taking NOBODY home early on and later on in the year when they’ve been inspired by their classmates.
This was aired on Hamilton’s Talk 820 with Mike Nabuurs on February 3rd 2010