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Collecting glasses for World Vision, building an ‘endangered animal zoo’ to create awareness and getting mail from politicians in response to a students’ animal rights petition, are just three of twenty-nine different community out-reach projects carried out by one class over one school year while using a program called Who Is NOBODY?
This is my second year using the program in my Grade 6 classroom at Regent Park/Duke of York Public School in inner city Toronto. I’ve found that the best way for students to ‘get’ from the community is to ‘give’ to it!
Students have experienced how helping others also helps themselves! They have used a simple method to find their personal interest and abilities and then applied the curriculum to real-life activities that exercise responsible citizenship and build character.
Posters, pictures, a 3-D ‘collage’ documenting each student’s efforts and a scrapbook with stories, pictures and photos captures this year-long project helping students take action locally, nationally and globally – exercising equality and celebrating diversity.
The Who Is NOBODY? Program is for Grades 1 – 12. This program makes a difference because it allows each individual student to:
- Make persona decisions,
- Develop personal skills
- Experience personal success
And then share these experiences with their peers. This allows students to understand and appreciate their own as well as their classmates’ strengths and identify real-world activities that stimulate more learning – putting Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences’ into action.
This program is designed to fit into existing programs by:
- Being easy to set up and maintain with ready-to-go resources and poster-based lessons
- Linking to cross-curricular expectations in:
- Guidance & Career Education (Choices Into Action)
- The Arts
- Health & Physical Education
- Learning Skills
- An additional subject chosen by the student
- Creating opportunities for students to exercise the philosophies and skills from existing Safe Schools Programs, so they can personally experience what they’ve learned
What other people have said about the Who Is NOBODY? Program:
The Who Is NOBODY? Program is a very creative resource that uses an action approach to character education. This low-maintenance, high-impact prevention program benefits both students and the greater community. Having students discover their interests and abilities by using the curriculum to practice social responsibility develops student, interpersonal and career goals, and gives students a sense of purpose and belonging.
– Charles E. Pascal, Former Deputy Minister of Education , Ontario & Professor, University of Toronto
This experience has not only increased their awareness of some serious issues, it has empowered students to make changes and to recognize that hey alone can and do make a difference. This has been transmitted throughout the school by these children and their teacher. The wave has begun! I would recommend the Who Is NOBODY? Program to every school in Canada!
– G. Hillier, Principal, St. Peter Catholic Elementary
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For more information about the Who Is NOBODY? Program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
By Monica Hough, Grade 6 Teacher,
Regent Park/Duke of York Public School,
Toronto District School Board
This article was published in the OSCA Today magazine in December 2006