Over the course of six months, students at North Gower-Marlborough Public School went from being somebodies to nobodies, then back to being somebodies again.
Last fall, more than 50 of the Grade 5 students at the school were posed with a question – what can you do to make a difference in your community?
The answer took the form of a journey of kind acts and selfless actions through the ‘Who is Nobody’ project, which invited the students to see what kind of a difference they can make, not only in their community, but in the world.
They are an inspiration for other schools to follow, and I encourage other service clubs to look at incorporating this project to other schools— Dave Palmer, rotary
The students received a suitcase with a plain blue doll inside and each student took the doll home one at a time, creating their own service project and then sharing it with the class.
When the doll, called ‘Nobody’, returned to class it bore a physical memento of the students’ project, covered with souvenirs of the students’ good deeds.
‘Over time, Nobody had become Somebody,” said Leslie Mott, teacher at NGMPS and coordinator of the school’s project. “The kids’ initiatives were modeled through a penny drive that goes to Free The Children, and then they took on their own passionate projects and shared them with their classmates. The student’s projects ranged from helping out their neighbours, to fostering animals to raising awareness about racism and Down Syndrome. It’s unbelievable what they accomplished.”
After six months of being involved in the unique program, which is designated to build character and promote and develop social responsibility throughout their school and communities, the students were honoured by their teachers and the Rotary Club of Nepean-Kanata on June 19th during a special ceremony at the school for all of their individual initiatives.
Each student received a bracelet for their hard work and dedication to some form of campaign, and were also treated to a video highlighting their accomplishments over the year.
“This project was done extremely well here, and it proved itself to be a viable tool,” said Dave Palmer, president of the Nepean-Kanata Rotary Club chapter. “They are an inspiration for other schools to follow, and I encourage other service clubs to look at incorporating this project to other schools.”
Some of the projects the students undertook are as follows:
- Kaylea taught the class about seeing-eye dogs
- Emma bought two bunnies for a family in South America
- Meghan R donated supplies to homeless people
- Colby did a walk for Breast Cancer
- Cassidy donated wood to a family in need
- Chris donated children’s books to CAS
- Elisa did chores to raise money for a cancer patient
- Jason raised funds to buy animals for a village in Guatemala
- Kaitlyn knit hats for the Karen Refugees
This article was published in The Ottawa South Weekender Newspaper on 27th June 2008