Social Justice Begins With Me!

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead

As we ease into another school year our class has begun to live the truth of this quote by Margaret Mead.  We started by becoming involved in learning a dance for a flashmob that we performed to fundraise for the Scarborough Hospital’s campaign to purchase a new MRI machine.  The students felt the opportunity was very meaningful and powerful.  It prompted read-alouds, class discussions, and journal entries on the topics of giving back to our community through simple acts of kindness and the power of believing that we can all make a difference in the world we live in.

This experience was a perfect segway to our Me to We Day.  The group of students who had the privilege of attending the celebration at the Air Canada Centre came back to school in awe and full of motivation to continue learning about how we can create a life where we are aware of how each decision, belief, and act impacts not only those around us but potentially people around the world.

Feeling that the students were ready to embark on a year dedicated to social justice issues, I decided to use the resource “Social Justice Begins With Me! created by ETFO.  Our first activity centred around reading the picture book “Yanni Rubbish” by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim.  The activity proved to be one of the students’ favourites so far.  We discussed how certain jobs and professions are viewed as more prestigious or important than others and why that is.  Amazingly, the students needed absolutely no guidance with respect to understanding that all professions and jobs are important and necessary in their own way.  As a cumulative task, each student created a Thank You card for someone in the community that had an important but unappreciated job.  This Thanksgiving weekend, they gave their cards and took pictures with the recipients.

I cannot begin to express how satisfying it was to see the pictures of my students bringing such positivity to their community!

This email I received from a student says it all:

Hi Mrs. Oliveira!I gave the thank you card to the librarian(s)!!!! They were so thankful and grateful. The librarian that I gave the card to said she will make sure that she shows the other librarians!! When I left, I felt so good and so helpful! I couldnt bring a camera because they were all not available. I feel so happy!
Students create their Thank You cards 

Thank You card cover

Inside a Thank You card

A student gives her card to a TTC driver

 

 

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The Author

Carmen.Oliveira

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