Taking Action for a Cause

Last week was Summits of Hope Week at Ridgeview Elementary. This was five days dedicated to fundraising for our team’s climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro in support of BC Children’s Hospital and it was a great success on many different levels.

My goals over the course of this journey to Africa have been to;

  1. Raise $5,000 for BC Children’s Hospital
  2. Encourage and inspire students to explore the world around them
  3. Demonstrate the power of kids helping kids

So, how am I doing?

Over the course of Summits of Hope Week the school community raised close to $3,000 through a coin drive, bake sale and donations towards Flags of Hope. With these contributions, the total money raised for Children’s Hospital is just over $6,000 and still going strong.

What amazed me the most, was student action around the fundraising. At Ridgeview we are implementing an Inquiry learning cycle that encompasses students taking action.  Summits of Hope week inspired students to get involved in the community and showcased how keen they are to use their skills towards the benefit of other children. Here are some of the ways they demonstrated they care:

  • two grade 5 girls ran a lemonade stand on the weekend and donated their profits to B.C. Children’s Hospital. 
  • a grade 1 boy donated his piggy bank (which had to be opened with a can opener) filled with close to $100.
  • a grade 5 boy made Summits of Hope magnets over the week in order to sell for donations.
  • two girls raised $25 through popsicle sales
  • two intermediate students raised $25 through the sale of God’s Eyes they had made around the neighbourhood
  • a younger student came up to me in the hall and gave me $5 she had at home but wanted to donate to help the kids.

These are examples from some of the students, however the action taking extended to staff and parents who were also very generous with their contributions through donations, efforts of their own (such as a Zumba class with proceeds towards the fundraising/tracking down silent auction prizes) or simply encouraging their students/children. It has been a very rewarding process that reminded me of how student, and community, engagement can encourage enthusiasm and garner opportunities for further learning to take place.

With my endeavour to motivate students to explore the world around them, I was pleasantly surprised when a couple of days after my visit to Ecole Cedardale, I received this wonderful tweet from a parent “my daughter found it totally inspiring. Now she wants to climb mountains. Thanks.” I was once again amazed that my journey to the top, has the power to ignite others as they strive to discover their own passions.

Summits of Hope week was also about real world math for my grade 5 class. We scaffolded from their prior knowledge to build new math skills and demonstrate learning.  In hopes that students would make a connection between what they had been doing with the fundraising and math, I said to them, “Wow! It’s Friday and we have not done math all week!” Sure enough, the students quickly raised their hands and told me that they had indeed done math through the counting of money, using place value, adding/subtracting of decimals, graphing, comparing data, making change and understanding currency. It was authentic learning at its best and the students were absolutely engaged throughout every “math lesson”.

There are just two more weeks until we leave for Africa and this experience has been more than I could have imagined. I have raised over $5,000, encouraged curiosity in others and inspired students to take action and understand that they have the power to make a difference. The journey is not over and donations are still welcome, I will continue to share my story and tell how the students put their fundraising initiatives into action. The adventure continues…

You can follow my adventure on my Summits of Hope Blog

1 Comment

  1. This is genuine taking action in the community. I love it how you have included not only your students but all members of the school community. It seems like you have inspired a lot of “assistants” to work with you for a common cause and, quite obviously, this has set them up for future action in other areas of community need. Your actions so far Craig have been commendable and the community at Ridgeview should be proud of their Deputy Headmaster. Good luck on the mountain.
    I cannot wait for you to write a reflective blog on the whole fundraising and trek.
    Tokyo International School

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