Westwind PS - Ottawa-Carleton District School board - Who Is NOBODY?

How does a nobody become a somebody?

Three dolls – one for each grade six class – on display at the “Who is Nobody” Fair at Westwind Public School in Stittsville on Thursday, June 23, each one sitting on a chair beneath a giant sign “Who is Nobody?”, represented how this happens, how a somebody is created from a nobody.

At the beginning of the “Who is Nobody?” project, each doll had no age, no character, no gender, no identify, no friends. During the course of the project, these dolls went from being a nobody doll to being a somebody doll, simply by having someone care about them.

Students in all three grade six classes at the school were involved with “Who is Nobody” projects, working either alone or in pairs. Each project had to provide one item symbolic of the individual project for placement on the doll. So, the doll got covered with these items, transforming the doll from a nobody to a somebody with lots to identify who he or she is.

We want to inspire a world to be a better place— Laura Bond, teacher

In this “Who is Nobody” project, the students involved must make several decisions in determining their project. First, what kind of living thing is to be helped by the project. It must be related to people, animals or the environment. This is very much a personal choice left up to each student or student team to decide.

Then a decision is made on choosing an organization that helps the chosen living thing. It could be an organization that helps people or one that helps animals or one that helps the environment.

Once the organization to be helped is selected, then the student or student team has to decide how the organization is to be helped. There could be fundraising done on its behalf. Or a student or students could volunteer with the organization. Or materials could be collected to donate to the organization. Or the help to the organization could be a combination of all three of these ways to help.

The student or student team then creates a plan regarding this help and then follows through on the plan.

And finally, as the culmination to this “Who is Nobody” project, each student or student team creates a poster board outlining everything to do with the individual project undertaken. This poster board is then on display at the windup “Who is Nobody Fair” at the school, with students there to explain to fellow students and visiting parents just what the particular project has been all about.

Students at Westwind Public School from grade three up to grade five visited the “Who is Nobody Fair” in the school gym on Thursday, June 23 to hear about the “Who is Nobody” project and to see the various display boards about the projects undertaken. This is meant to help prepare them for when they are involved in their own grade six year.

“We want to inspire a world to be a better place,” Westwind Public School grade six teacher Laura Bond said when explaining the reason for the “Who is Nobody” project to students assembled at the Fair.

And just what are some of the organizations selected by the students this year as the focus of their individual or team project?

They include the Canadian Red Cross, Freedom Dog Rescue, Restoring Hope Ministries, Big Sky Ranch, Stittsville Food Bank, Ottawa Dog Rescue, Canadian Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, the Salvation Army, the Richmond Food Bank, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Humane Society and more.

Student Charlotte May decided to help people in Cambodia who suffer from iron deficiency by helping the social enterprise organization Lucky Iron Fish.

Iron deficiency afflicts approximately 3.5 billion people around the world including those in Cambodia. It is a preventable nutritional deficiency which can lead to anemia. With an iron deficiency, a person is constantly tired, struggling to focus and often feels sick. One Lucky Iron Fish, which is in the shape of a fish, can provide an entire family with up to 90 percent of its daily iron intake for up to five years. All that has to be done is to cook with this reusable ‘fish,’ boiling it in any liquid or broth based meals. It is a simple and affordable solution to eliminating iron deficiency.

The Lucky Iron Fish organization involves a team of scientists, physicians and nutritionists from across the world who are tackling iron deficiency thanks to this fish-shaped object that is used in cooking meals.

Indeed, MacLean’s Magazine has identified Lucky Iron Fish as one of five innovations that will change the world.

Charlotte raised funds for Lucky Iron Fish by hosting a lemonade stand during the recent Richmond village-wide garage sale event. She also provided iced tea at King’s Your Independent Grocer in Richmond and collected donations from family members.

All in all, Charlotte raised $258.85 for Lucky Iron Fish, enough to provide more than 30 of these fish-shaped iron objects to include in cooking.

Student Sasha Yakovlev chose to help out the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy which is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to supporting people with cerebral palsy in Ontario. It provides a wide range of services, resources and programs for those with cerebral palsy and their families and also supports research related to cerebral palsy. Most of the Federation’s programs and services are funded almost entirely through collection and re-sale of used clothing and other used goods.

This is meant to help prepare them for their own projects when they are involved in their own grade six year— Laura Bond, teacher

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of conditions arising from a lack of muscle control due to injury to the developing brain. Symptoms of cerebral palsy vary depending on which area of the brain has been injured. These symptoms may include muscle tightness or spasm, involuntary movement, difficult with gross motor skills such as walking or running, difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing or speaking and problems with perception and sensation.

Some with cerebral palsy show no obvious effects while others may be non-verbal.

Those with cerebral palsy have a normal life expectancy and their condition will not get worse, although it may change. It is estimated that one out of every 400 babies is affected with cerebral palsy. Over 50,000 Canadians are living with cerebral palsy.

For her project, Sasha decided to collect used clothing to turn in to Value Village to help the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy. She ended up collecting six bags of used clothing, something which will not only help the Federation but also will help the environment by re-using the clothing rather than throwing it out.

Student Lauren Campanelli and another student, for their project, held a bottle drive to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation which grants wishes to youth facing life-threatening health situations.

Their goal was to raise $50 but they ended up raising $170 for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

For students Ella Cameron and Julia Garnett, they set out to help the Ottawa Dog Rescue which finds homes for abandoned and/or abused dogs. They held a raffle, a bottle drive and sold specially-designed cookies at the Sweet Room in Stittsville, all of which generated $776 in total for donation to Ottawa Dog Rescue.

Julia knows first-hand about the work of the Ottawa Dog Rescue as her family adopted a little white rescued dog from the organization just last Easter.

Students Liam Horner and Joshua Frenken, with their project, collected used hockey equipment for donation to youngsters who could not afford such equipment. The equipment which was collected was donated to Canadian Tire Corporation’s Jumpstart program and the Sens Foundation.

Liam and Joshua ended up collecting 183 different items of hockey equipment including 21 pairs of skates.

They also collected Canadian Tire money to donate to the Jumpstart program.

This article was published in the Sittsvile News on June 28th 2016