Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where Does the Money Go

Our school collects mission money. During the year, we also have out of uniform days. A short time ago, I came across a post by Erica Hartman called Be The Change in Darfur. In the post, Erica links to New Jersey Coalition Responds to Darfur. It turns out that one of the coalition members is none other than the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark - our very own archdiocese.

Make It More Meaningful
The student government decided to make the Saint Patrick's Day an out of uniform day for this cause. Each student that chooses to dress down donates one dollar. My eighth grade son's teacher asked if anyone knew anything about the cause. Someone more or less said, "Who cares as long as we get a dress down day". I decided it was time to step up to the plate and create a short lesson during computer class. Out came the tools of the trade: Activstudio, Activotes, online searches, and a slide set to share.

What I Found
I want to use the same presentation for Kindergarten through eighth grade. I found a great video at the Jewish World Watch website. Unfortunately I did not want to bring up the word rape. I just wanted to leave it at violence. I found the video on YouTube, downloaded it with Zamzar, brought it into iMovie and made a couple of little edits.

I am starting with a KWL chart for all grades. I will probably fill it in for the youngest students. I'll have to see how it goes. I've interwoven questions to find out what the students know about where Darfur is and what experience they have with collecting firewood. This will bring us into the video.

Bringing It Back Home
Finally, I want to provide the students with a feel for how they are making a change for the better in the world. We will briefly review approximately how many families are at the refugee camp, how much the cookers cost, and how much the violence has gone down as a result of these efforts.

I think it's important to make a strong connection in the student's minds about what is actually happening with their dollar. I wish I had a better understanding of all the other work our student's money does with the mission money collections.

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