As educators, we are always considering how we are creating opportunities for students to master the “Four C’s” of 21st century learning: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. The implicit element that makes all of these meaningful for students, however, is engagement: Why does this matter? Who am I, and how can I make a difference in the world?
Seventh and eighth grade students are exploring these questions now through their Service and Advocacy elective class. With the goal of carrying out a project that will create positive change, students researched philanthropic organizations whose missions resonated with their own interests, presenting their findings in order to persuade their classmates to commit to partnering with their selected cause.
I had the pleasure of joining the class as students presented their “cases” (and research) to their peers through Google Slides presentations. Classmates listened in rapt attention as their peers introduced proposals to care for abandoned animals, to fight hunger, and to provide arts and enrichment to underserved communities, among others.
After careful review and consideration of a wide variety of worthy causes over two class meetings, the class voted to support the Foster Children’s Resource Center in Northridge. (To learn more about this organization, visit https://assistanceleaguela.org/program/foster-childrens-resource-center/.) In the coming months, the class will engage in on-site volunteer work with the organization, as well as contribute to the program through fundraising, including their recent bake sale.
We are so proud of your commitment to make a difference, and we look forward to hearing about your work with the Foster Children’s Resource Center!