Part of helping children develop a strong sense of self includes showing them that they each have a voice and they can use that voice in service of a cause they are passionate about. This lays the groundwork for teachers to begin addressing issues of “fairness” and ways that children can make a difference in the world.
•Through a regular “News Share” activity, Kindergartners explore what is fair and unfair in the world around them. They begin to learn important questions to ask such as Why are things the way they are? Are they fair? What would that feel like if it were me? How can I help?
• In 1st grade, students study community heroes and think about how they could be a hero. They set personal goals and identify ways they can take action to help their communities—for example, reading to Pre-Primary children, participating in the Peace March, or cleaning up the front field.
• Second graders identify “big problems” (global warming, natural disasters, homelessness, cyber hacking, people hurting people who are poor) and are asked to consider Which of these big issues do you think that you, as a 2nd grader, could use your voice to do something about? Teachers then support children in taking the next steps to raise awareness about the issue or make a positive change.