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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 3:24 PM -0400
Subject:Social Justice at HCCS
The 2016-17 school year provided the Grade 1/2 class at Holland-Chatsworth Central School with some valuable lessons on social justice. Throughout the year, teacher Kelly Merrifield introduced a variety of stories on remarkable citizens and leaders around the world.  Students learned about acts of kindness and heroism towards others, while also hearing about the plight of refugees and those in countries stricken by difficult living conditions.  

When students heard about children in other parts of the world who are forced to live with restricted access to clean water, specifically girls who cannot attend school because they have to carry water to help sustain their village, they decided to take action by embarking on a project to build a well for a school in Africa at a cost of $175.      

Through the humanitarian organization Plan International, students worked towards their goal by hosting a “New to You” sale for a few days in June.  Students donated various garage sale items from home for their peers in the primary grades to purchase, such as toys they no longer played with.  All items were sold within a price range of 10 cents to two dollars.  By the end of the sale, the students had more than doubled their goal of $175 by raising $379.53!  

With twice the amount required for the project, the class decided to purchase one well and use the remaining money for a variety of purposes to help those in developing countries, including sports equipment for underprivileged children, a beehive to help provide income to women, and baby chicks to help provide income for families.                     

The success of the project aligned perfectly with the big idea adopted by the class during the year that “one person can make a difference.”  Students also had the opportunity to write about those whom they were most inspired by.  Examples included Terry Fox and Ryan Hreljac, Canadian activist and founder of Ryan’s Well Foundation.  

Group photo image of Grade 1/2 students in classroom sitting cross-legged with hands raised
Image of items on tables in classroom for "New to You" sale
 Image of letter from student to Ryan Hreljac