The Stand Up Against Poverty event involving the primary students was a genuine success in all aspects; the poverty simulations boasted knowledgeable influence regarding humanitarian issues – water scarcity, poverty, and malnutrition. Students participated with committed hearts, experienced sheer fun, and took away with them a breadth of understanding on the challenges faced by those in poverty. The verdict: an action-driven experience coupled with effective learning outcomes.
Christopher M.L. Lai
The calendar idea came to us one afternoon and we were immediately psyched. At the end of our grade 10 year, we decided to come to school during a exam study day to be inspired by the atmosphere. With food, drinks, pens, and paper, we started drawing and writing down ideas for the photographs and quotes.
Gr. 11 kicked in late August and the reality of time hit us quickly. We realized we had to get the calendar done by October because the printing process would take up some time and Family Fun Fair (where we wanted to sell the calendars) was in November. The harsh reality hit us again; we had one month to design a calendar. One month to meet and plan with teachers; one month to take photographs; one month to create 12 unique images- one for each month of the year. With a massive workload engulfing us during our enter into the IB diploma, this all seemed incredibly scary.
Natalie and I sat in Starbucks one afterschool making concrete deadlines for ourselves. We realized we had to begin immediately, so emails to teachers were sent that night.
Over the course of the month, we met with many teachers, and worked with many different personalities. To instruct teachers during photo shoots was definitely a new experience, and though scary, many times we found working with teachers outside of the classroom a lot of fun. This interaction made me more comfortable with meeting and working with new people, and really helped better my interpersonal skills. Editing the photographs and designing the calendar on the Adobe Photoshop and Indesign applications were relatively new skills I had acquired.
Probably one of the biggest challenges of the entire project was none-the-less, time management. Schoolwork and extra curricular activities were time consuming, and needing to deal with making a whole calendar was extremely difficult. Late nights and countless days of being sleep deprived was grim, but I persisted because the making of this calendar was in fact very enjoyable. When I didn’t want to do my homework, I would work on the calendar. It was my way of pushing my homework till later, but at the same time, not wasting time.
With the calendar project, we ultimately provided eight girls with a year’s worth of education. It was extremely satisfying to have had used the skills I possessed to create a product that was life changing for the eight deserving girls. Though many times I questioned why I was doing this project, I definitely do not regret one second of the process, and I am extremely proud of Natalie and myself.
by Natalie Lai and Annabelle Li