Through inquiry-based learning, students in Steve Churchill's Grade 11 English class are helping to provide solutions to real issues confronting the community.
"This semester, we invited some local agencies into our classroom to talk to us about some 'real world' problems which face our community," says Mr. Churchill. "The students have followed their passion and their interest and are helping to provide solutions."
Some of the groups invited to speak to students were Pet and Animal Wildlife Rescue, Learning Disabilities Association, Chatham-Kent Outreach for Hunger and the Ursuline Sisters.
"The local Pet and Wildlife Rescue Centre had a recent break-in and was in need of emergency funding," says student Erykah Bugros. "We decided to design bracelets and sell them, hoping to raise $400. We've already hit $300 and we're sure we will make our target!"
Another group of students was concerned about young people who cannot afford to play organized sports. They partnered with SportChek and Canadian Tire to promote the JumpStart Program, which helps give kids from families in financial need the same opportunities to participate in sports as their neighbours, classmates and friends. They also partnered with students in Grades 1 to 8 at St. Michael Catholic School in Ridgetown to produce dozens of posters, to help promote JumpStart.
"The students all designed their own projects to work out solutions to the problems they were passionate about. I'm so proud of all of them and the work they're doing in our communities," says Mr. Churchill. "What I like best about these projects is that they tie so directly to the mission of Catholic education. These kids aren't only talking about their faith, they're living it!"
The students will discuss their projects in a Ted Talks-style presentation to the community agencies and invited guests on January 18 in the UCC Theatre.
In the photos (above left) students show off the bracelets they designed for the Chatham-Kent Pet and Wildlife Rescue fundraiser; and (above right) some of the posters designed to help promote the JumpStart Program.