Last month, Mrs. Ariana McCann decided to assign a charity project to help children living in poverty in Spanish speaking countries. She is currently involved with an outreach group that goes into communities and bring equipment and toiletries to the homeless. Mrs. McCann wanted her students to be open minded and to see how fortunate and blessed they are.
“I thought about the opportunities I had in high school. I traveled to Haiti and Guatemala and I saw the poverty stricken people and began to recognize how lucky I truly was. I wanted to give my students the opportunity to understand the same things. I wanted them to begin to really see the world outside of Holbrook. People around the world have little to no access to these things that we take advantage of every day. First I had the thought that we could sponsor a child as a class. Then I thought about choosing a charity. I decided my students would research a charity and present it to the class. Then we would vote on a charity and support it throughout the rest of the year.” – Mrs. Ariana McCann
You can read the full interview below.
What are your goals with this project?
My goal is to help my students see beyond themselves and their small hometown. We make up such a small part of the world. My hope with this project is to help my students see that and begin to gain a better understanding of the world. In addition, I hope to begin to stir up a sense of social justice in my students. I want them to begin to see the things that are happening around the world and not only appreciate what they have, but build a desire to help others with whatever resources they have available.
How has your class handled this project?
I was very impressed with my class when I assigned this project. I think most of them were really interested in the first place for a few reasons. First of all, this was a very different assignment. It allowed them to make a lot of choices and was pretty open ended. Secondly, there was a reason for it. Most students wanted to do a good job on the project because they knew they were presenting it to the class with the hopes that people would vote for it. Because everyone knew one charity would be chosen to be supported in the end, they chose and presented on things they were passionate about. Once we chose the charity, a little more than half the class chose to continue to be involved in the project. We have begun meeting to start fundraising efforts.
Why types of fundraising ideas have you or your class come up with?
We’ve had a lot of different ideas brought to the table by a lot of students. One thing we’re doing is keeping a donation jar in the classroom for students to donate to, and we’re also working on some other things. We’re hoping to run a dodge ball tournament and we may be raffling some items off as well.
Have you run to any problems or obstacles while trying to come up with ideas, since this is a project that is different than what you normally do? If so, what kinds?
Since this is such a different project, I really had to spend some time planning it out and thinking about how to make it work. At this point I haven’t hit too many obstacles, but we haven’t made a ton of progress yet. I still have a lot to figure out logistically. At this point it’s just been fun and exciting! We will soon see what kind of obstacles we may encounter, but so far it’s been pretty smooth sailing!
For more information about the Fundacion Pies Descalzos Charity: http://www.fundacionpiesdescalzos.com/en/what-we-do