Primary students at Hickson Central Public School are making somebody out of nobody .
Who Is NOBODY?™ is a program that was developed by Kelly Clark, a Toronto teacher, after she graduated with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of London, England.
Through the program, a mysterious cardboard suitcase arrives in the classroom … and inside is NOBODY! … a non-descript denim doll and instructions. Three short lessons explain the five Who Is NOBODY?™ Steps that inspire and tap into everybody’s unique strengths to help others. Every student gets a turn to apply their personal interests and abilities to the steps. The students can choose between the three categories – animals, people or the environment.
Each student presents a story, picture and adds a physical attachment to NOBODY that represents their experience before the next student’s turn. The class scrapbook fills with stories, pictures and photos and NOBODY becomes somebody who captures everybody’s character-in-action.
Wouldn’t you want someone to help you?— Jacob Francis
They learn that even though they might be a little person, they can make a big difference.
On Friday, December 17th, 2010, Rotarians Barb Low, Brian Bennett and Kevin Foster delivered six of Rotary’s Who Is NOBODY?™ kits to the primary classes at Hickson Central Public School. During the one-hour assembly, with over 120 students and teachers in attendance, the program was explained in detail and the Rotarians gave each doll its first attachment, a heart with the Rotary logo attached.
The Rotary Club of Tavistock has worked closely with Mrs. Lynne Ross, Grade 1 teacher at the school to come up with a suitable program. Each kit costs $300, so the Rotary Club donated three kits and the school purchased three of their own. The school held bake sales, collected pop tabs, and student council also provided funds. In the end, all primary classrooms received their own Who Is NOBODY?™ kit.
On Monday, January 24th, 2011, Rotary President Brian Bennett sat in on the first joint presentation of the six elementary classes and their dolls. Two members of each class in turn presented a story of what they had done to make NOBODY a somebody.
Tavistock Rotary President Brian Bennett with Hickson students and their Who is NOBODY?™ dolls, left to right, in front: Tyler Babos, Dylan Allen, Hannah Cowan, Isabel Reid, Kate Loie, Cameron Jansen; back row: Scott Morrison, Grace Empringham, Jacob Francis, Will Hoben and Brooklynn Connell
The Grade 1 class of Josh Birtch had two students choosing to help animals – protecting endangered bears. Tyler Babos donated to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) on behalf of the panda bear whose existence in the bamboo forests of China is being threatened by poachers. “It’s not too late … please donate,” his presentation stated. Dylan Allen was concerned with polar bears and their shrinking habitat in the north, asking students and their families to cut back on fuel emissions to save the environment.
Kate Loie and Cameron Jansen had taken the doll home from the Grade 1 class of Mrs. Lynne Ross. Kate decided to help people by donating clothes to Goodwill. She cleaned out her closet and found shoes, mittens, hats and clothes that no longer fit her; a process she can repeat each year. She then placed a sock on NOBODY to represent her initiative. Cameron collected and purchased school supplies for people in Haiti which are being sent down with a mission team. Cameron’s mom sewed a pencil onto NOBODY’s hand.
It made me feel good even though shoveling snow is hard— Grace Empringham
In the Grade 2 class of Mrs. Ruth Anne Strickler, Grace Empringham and Scott Morrison were the first two presenters.
Grace helped people in her neighbourhood and her great grandmother by shovelling snow.
“It made me feel good even though shoveling snow is hard,” she said.
Scott wanted to help animals by feeding and taking care of calves on their farm. He learned that it’s a very big responsibility. These calves will grow and later “provide
milk for all the people in Ontario,” he noted.
Jacob Francis was the lone presenter for the Grade 2 class of Mrs. Krista St. Amand. Jacob collected mused clothing and donated it to the Women’s Shelter.
“Wouldn’t you want someone to help you?” he stated.
For the Grade 3 class of Mrs. Jacquie George, presenters were Hannah Cowan and Isabel Reid.
Hannah managed to raise $50 to sponsor an Empire penguin threatened in Antarctica by collecting $2.00 for every hoop she scored in basketball. Isabel held a bottle drive to buy and plant eucalyptus trees that will help save the habitat for Koala bears in Australia. Each tree costs $10.
It was extremely gratifying to see first hand how these students are enthusiastically taking hold of the NOBODY project— Brian Bennett, Tavistock Rotary Club
The two Grade 3 students of Mrs. Kim Roddick had unique ideas to help people. Will Hoben collected food for the Chosen Soldier Program. He challenged the entire primary division to bring in items from a list of food stuffs to be sent to soldiers in Afghanistan. Will was motivated because of the death of Private Tyler Todd, a former Hickson student, who died in Afghanistan last year. Will placed a camouflage hat on NOBODY.
Brooklynn Connell also wants to help people and held a candy and bake sale to raise funds to feed families in Bangladesh. $5.00 can feed a family for a month in developing countries and Brooklynn was able to collect $25.25 for the cause.
“It was extremely gratifying to see first hand how these students are enthusiastically taking hold of the NOBODY project,” said Mr. Bennett.
Rotary Clubs have donated kits across Ontario and Canada because of the shared goals of the program including: Service Above Self, Preventing Youth at Risk, and Literacy.
Check out their web site at www.whoisnobody.com
Everybody can make Nobody, Somebody!
This article was published in the Tavistock Gazette Newspaper on February 2nd 2011