Our 4th grade class had a lot to think about. It began with a question asked to them by teachers, Nicola Berlinsky and Jessie Mobley: look around your community; what doesn’t sit well in your hearts? For two days, students created a long list of observations. Next, they organized ideas into groups of similar categories, including gender-bias issues, animal protection issues, child welfare issues, environmental protection issues, public safety issues, and cyber safety issues.
Each student selected a category, created a vision statement for their work, and found an immediate focus for their efforts. Teams gathered signatures, wrote articles for the school website, conducted campus education campaigns and drives, and designed t-shirts with slogans and logos of support. Some issues chosen were federal initiatives, so students sent their work to their US representatives and senators. A portion of the projects were education campaigns that challenged Oakwood elementary students, parents, and teachers to consider their positions on animal adoption, gender equity in education, and identity protection.