Recently I said that I wasn’t going to write a post unless I thought I had something to write about that I thought was useful. Well, today I’m writing about something that I think is useful. Better than that, it’s helpful to others less fortunate than ourselves. And that, to me, is important.
Throughout the year I’ve been inspired by 11 yr old Laura Stockman, who has been writing a blog called 25 days to make a difference. Laura writes about how she goes about raising money for charity organisations she and her readers decide are worthy of support. It’s not massive amounts of money we’re talking about here, it’s small but significant amounts from a young woman who engages in activities like bake sales and lemonade stands to raise funds that will make a difference for others.
Small, but significant.
Laura skyped into my classroom a couple of months ago to talk to my students about what she does. She made an impact. They are still talking about Laura and want to know what they can do too. Talking with Laura has meant I’ve established a friendship across the waves with her Mum, Angela (Angela is a very responsible parent and makes sure she supervises Laura’s online connections – She’s in New York State and I’m in Melbourne, Australia ). Over the last couple of months Angela and I have been mulling over ideas about how we and other educators can make a difference in the same vein as Laura’s inspirational efforts. That leads me to the point of this post.
Angela and I, inspired by Laura, have created a ning site, Working together 2 make a difference, to support educators to make a difference for others less fortunate than themselves in the lead up to the festive season. The ning site will work as a collaborative space to allow educators to share the efforts of their classes. Here’s what we say on our main page;
As educators, we try to encourage our students to see past themselves and take a wider world view. Depending on many factors, that can be relatively easy, or relatively hard. As we approach the festive season for many cultures, an opportunity presents for us to have a means of working together in a collaborative fashion to have our students realise that their efforts can be far reaching and effect others.
11 Year old Laura Stockman has been a source of inspiration for many throughout 2008. Her blog, 25 days to make a difference has detailed her efforts to raise funds for various charity organisations throughout the year. She has had over 38,000 hits on her blog and has received media attention for her efforts. Now it’s time to let Laura know how her efforts have inspired others to do the same.
The aim of this space is to detail the efforts of educators and their students who are doing their bit to think outside of themselves and raise funds for worthy causes. We encourage you to join this space, create a new page for your school and start detailing what you and your students are aiming to do to help others less fortunate than yourselves. Chart your progress on your page and we’ll see what we can achieve by working together to make a difference.
DECEMBER 15TH 2008 is the date we are targeting for completion of the collaborative project. So, get to it. Rally your troops, start thinking about bake sales or car washes, identify a worthy cause and set your page up.
Laura has shown us that one person can make a difference. Let’s see what the sum total of all of us working together can achieve.
If you’ve been thinking about joining a global project but are daunted by the prospect, consider giving this a go. There is a definite timeline, you can work within the boundaries of your school but contribute to a greater cause, and you can connect with other schools who join this effort. We should be able to foster connective opportunities within this community that can get our kids understanding that the sum total of many working together can effect great change.
Thanks Laura for providing the inspiration. And thanks Angela – all those emails and tweets have been worth it.