Global citizenship begins at home. This is what Grade 9 students at Acadia Junior High are discovering in their recent food drive for Ryerson School.
With Acadia’s recent designation as a candidate UNESCO school, students in Carla Sadler’s class have been learning about UNESCO’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and finding local ways to implement them.
Based on SDG #2, Zero Hunger, students organized a community action project and decided to step up when they learned that Ryerson’s breakfast program had been suspended due to the pandemic.
“Many of the students had attended Ryerson School and wanted to help because of their personal connection,” Sadler says.
Four cohorts of students organized themselves and made posters, created PowerPoint presentations and social media posts, met with administrators and spoke to other classes.
Sadler was inspired by the way her students rose to their leadership roles and found unique ways to collaborate.
"In these unprecedented times it is more important than ever to teacher our students the core value of empathy," she says.
Sadler’s students collected and organized all the donations, and made a total of four trips to the school to deliver the food in batches, allowing each cohort the chance to participate within the current guidelines.
“You don't know how great it feels to help someone in need until you participate in a project like this,” says Tyler, a participant in the drive. I'm grateful for the opportunity!"
Katelyn, another participant, agrees. "From this project I've learned that kindness isn't only about the items that we give, but also about the thought and love that we put into collecting the donations."
Approximately 75 Ryerson students typically attend the school’s breakfast club.
Acadia is planning another UNESCO community project for the entire school before the end of the year. Student leaders are currently brainstorming some ideas.