Hasting Public School students take up real causes
Hastings – Humanitarian projects that reach beyond the classroom have produced quite a buzz at Hastings Public School.
“Anything that helps people, the environment or animals,” says Grade 3 teacher Nan MacDougall of the “Who is Nobody” program her class and the neighbouring 1-2 class have embraced.
It makes the students better citizens and more aware of the things around them that they can help— Nan MacDougall, teacher
Students had 10 lessons leading to the presentation stage of the “Who is Nobody” program. All students are responsible for producing a project which becomes the focal point of classroom discussions. Some, like the one Mitchell Bell produced on diabetes this week, also become school-wide fundraisers.
The first student project supported Sick Kids Hospital. The next will encourage HPS students to write cards to an Ottawa-area boy stricken with cancer.
“We hope to get a good variety in the projects,” Nan says. “Some have plans for animals, others for environmental clean-ups.”
Endorsed by the Rotary Club, the program also features a a doll called Nobody who is given special tags and memorabilia reflecting each project so by the end of the year Nobody is transformed into a “Somebody.”
Students take Nobody home with them along with a program kit to help with their projects.
“It makes the students better citizens and more aware of the things around them that they can help,” says Nan.
They’re quite proud of it. Some have made personal connections right away. Others have to seek things outside of themselves.”
An added bonus, she says, is the fact that parents are encouraged to work with their children on the projects but they are able to see that even at their young age they can do something to be helpful.”
It can be for any grade, it doesn’t really matter— Nan MacDougall, teacher
Who is Nobody is new to the Kawartha Pine Ridge District Board, she says, but it is spreading.
“It can be for any grade, it doesn’t really matter.”
Mitchell was selling apples to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association. His grandpa, Keith Potts, has diabetes and is a partial amputee. He was at the school with his wife to talk to students about the illness and the daily blood sugar tests he has to take.
“He talked about how his cousin’s daughter has had diabetes since she was 12,” Mitchell said, while selling apples with classmates David Hennings and Bailey Fife.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Said David.
Along with feeling empowered about his experience Mitchell felt great for being able to help an association that would impact his grandfather.
This article was published in the The Hastings Community Newspaper in April 2007