Grade 7 students don’t typically carry around a doll, but the class at Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School has been changing the world – and their character – with the help of a denim doll called Nobody.
“Nobody’s tuque and socks represent one girl’s winter clothing drive, and these sunglasses represent another girl’s global warming awareness campaign,” said 12-year-old Julia Hughes as she described the doll’s outfit.
Turning Nobody into a Somebody by helping a cause has changed these students’ level of respect and character— Bev Hamm, youth worker
“The purple Hannah Montana microphone in his hand represents our ‘feed the people’ charity concert.”
Wednesday evening at Assumption College, Hughes and her project partner Hailey Garvey hosted a benefit concert with a cover band to bring in non-perishable food donations for the Brant Food Bank.
“Jobs are getting lost and a lot of people just don’t have enough money to pay for food,” said Garvey about why they chose the Food Bank for their Nobody project.
A suitcase from Nobody to Somebody
The faceless doll arrived in a suitcase addressed from Nobody to Somebody that was filled with video lessons, manuals, and scrapbooking kits.
The character-building project was developed by Toronto elementary school teacher Kelly Clark in 2001 and is now used in over 300 classrooms across 16 Ontario school boards.
“We went to a safe schools conference in February and learned about this Who is Nobody project that is for anybody in Grades 1 through 12,” said Arden Smelser, one of two social workers with the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board.
We are hoping to implement this program in other schools as soon as possible— Bev Hamm, youth worker
“Along with Holy Cross, St. Leo’s Grade 4 class and Christ the King’s Grade 8 class are also participating in the project to make Nobody into a somebody by taking the doll home and adorning it with something that represents their humanitarian project. The students are asked to give back to people, animals or environment.”
The Holy Cross class also chose to collectively raise money for their greening project through a dance, hat day, draw, and upcoming raffle, said Smelser.
“They raised $307 to date which will go towards purchasing plants at Lowe’s where they will meet with a horticulture expert for a gardening lesson.”
“Turning Nobody into a Somebody by helping a cause has changed these students’ level of respect and character,” said Bev Hamm, child and youth worker for the BHN Catholic District School Board. “We are hoping to implement this program in other schools as soon as possible.”
A few of many Holy Cross projects for Who is Nobody
- Using refundable bottles to donate money to the Dufferin Club’s post-fire reconstruction project.
- Collecting old towels from the Holiday Inn and Best Western to a local veterinary clinic which expressed a need for towels.
- A family fostered a child in Africa.
- Books signed by their authors were collected for an auction for the school’s library.
This article was published in the Brant News on June 18th 2009