When you were eight or nine-years-old, would you say the ideas of peace, justice and strong institutions were top of mind?
For a group of Grade 3 learners at Glenwood School, not only are those topics front and centre, they’re actively engaged in seeing them flourish as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Back in 2015, leaders from 193 member states of the United Nations came together and created a plan, the most ambitious agreement ever made, called the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that aims to fight inequality and injustice, end extreme poverty and tackle climate change.
The Glenwood Grade 3 teacher, Ms. Anderson, played a SDG video for her class that showed how young people all over the world were making positive changes to everything from access to clean water and quality education to gender equality.
The Grade 3 classroom took on SDG #16, which is Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.
Nine learners from Glenwood School presented their work on SDG #16 at a recent Louis Riel School Division board meeting.
“Before we started the project we had to learn about, and discuss, what exactly peace, justice, and strong institutions meant to us,” said Miranda, one of the Glenwood students.
“We talked about children’s rights, including the right to safety and the right to an education. We then talked about how many children around the world do not have access to these rights. This upset us all so much that we felt like we needed to do something!,” said Aiden, another Glenwood student.
The group soon discovered a UNICEF Kid Powerup program that would send a Ready to Use Food Packet (RTUFP) to a malnourished child in need for every 10 videos the group completed. As a group, they set of goal of sending 100 RTUFP’s and began work on achieving that target, but they weren’t about to stop there.
“After a lot of discussion and revisiting our assigned goal of ‘Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions’ our question became ‘How can we promote Peace and Justice around the World?’,” said Jewel, one of the Glenwood students.
“We imagined all the ways we could spread our message about children’s rights and promote peace and justice for children around the world. Some of our ideas included an assembly, protests, petitions, and a themed spirit week.” said Riley, one of the nine student presenters.
As the ideas started flowing and planning began for an event, the students realized they needed to revise the original question.
“As we got ready to create our projects, we noticed that there was a lot of conflict going on within our classroom and around our school,” said Adalyn, a Glenwood student.
“We went back to the question we had asked ourselves, ‘How can we promote Peace and Justice around the World?’ and changed it to, “How can we promote Peace and Justice at Glenwood and around the World’,” said Eva, another Glenwood student who was a part of the presentation.
“We imagined what would get the attention of the students at Glenwood and decided a video using the green screen and a bake sale would be a good place to start,” said Jewel.
Their teacher helped the students create a script for the video and each student was given a piece to practice and memorize.
“We shared our video with staff and students the week before World Children’s Day. We found out 143 staff and students wore blue on November 20, and we raised $222.50 to donate to UNICEF at our bake sale. We also shared our video and our timeline of learning with family and friends on exhibition night,” said Adalyn.
“But we are not done yet! We still plan to create a video, song, book, and posters to share with the staff and students at Glenwood,” said Eva.