Island Lake PS students spread their generosity across North America over the holiday season
January 7, 2019
ORANGEVILLE, Ontario – A grade 2 class at Island Lake Public School has started a revolution of 7 year olds giving back during the holidays throughout North America.
After reading the story The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson, which details the experiences of renowned violinist Joshua Bell, students in Ms. Gillis class were provided with $1.00 and a challenge.
The discussion after the story had been about how in our busyness we often neglect to stop and consider those that are marginalized in our society and who are less fortunate. Students were challenged to use their dollar to help someone else in the Island Lake PS community or around the world.
Students were given two weeks to plan and carry out their giving and one weekend to put together a poster and reflection about what they did with their dollar and how it made them feel.
The grade 2 students have now presented their projects and all of them were thrilled with what they had done. As one of the students said, “It made us feel like heroes!”
The projects ranged from donating to the Salvation Army kettles and Toys for Tots, to bigger ventures that bought goats and chickens for people in communities in need around the world. Several students used their resources to build upon their dollar for larger donations.
One student borrowed $1.80 from his father and made cookies that he sold. After paying his father back, he was able to donate $44.25. Another student coloured and decorated Christmas tags which she sold and then donated $81.00. Some students used their marketing skills to recruit their families to match and/or beat their dollar donations.
Students did research on the organizations they were donating to and presented their findings to each other and fellow students at the school.
As their teacher, Ms. Gillis was incredibly proud of her global citizens and posted the idea to an internet forum for grade 2 teachers across the globe. Gillis received an overwhelming 800 responses to the challenge in one day from teachers who wished to continue and expand the project.
The class calculated that at an average of 20 students per class, the total donations this December from grade 2 students would be more than $16,000.
The grade 2 students are extremely proud of what they have started and are thrilled at how many people might benefit from their project.
Congratulations to Ms. Gillis and her students for setting an example for the world to follow!