Painting Watercolors to Empower Neighbors
"It's hard to help everyone, but I can start by helping the wonderful and hard-working people in my community."
As part of their personal Passion Project, two of our students have chosen to support and raise awareness for our local Day Worker Center, which empowers individuals through fair employment, education, and job skills training. This month, the students involved our whole community by creating and selling watercolor cards and by hosting a holiday drive.
On Tuesday, students in Independence Level 5 brought all of the holiday donations to Day Worker Center of Mountain View, along with the $300 they have raised by selling greeting cards. The students shared how many lunches they will be able to donate to the day workers, as well as gifts and requested supplies, and they were able to reconnect with many of the folks at the Center who they met and interviewed during our summer term.
"It starts with a small step, helping those who are so local that you could find them when you step outside," says 12-year-old Riya.
Her classmate, Nunu, agrees: "I want to help the people around me. It's hard to help everyone, but I can start by helping the wonderful and hard-working people in my community."
At our school, Passion Projects are real-world applications of the character strengths and cognitive skills students are learning in their interdisciplinary work. Students explore and develop their personal passions, and they learn how an entrepreneurial mindset may be used to solve a problem, create a connection, or foster empathy across cultures. This year's Passion Projects include an initiative to help protect elephants, a goal to learn robotics, and a mission to provide solar ovens for families who need a safer way to cook their meals.
We look forward to seeing more ideas in action as the year continues!