Friday, June 5, 2015

The Students Rebuild Bookmark Challenge Ends with reflective thoughts

The Casady Service Learning Office mailed 8,238 bookmarks to the Bezos Foundation in Seattle the last week in May.  The bookmarks were the Casady YAC service project for National Volunteer Week and Global Youth Service Days .  The idea was brought to YAC's attention by Ananya B'17 sophomore YAC Chair .  

Casady YAC members made bookmarks during YAC meetings and at Boys and Girls Club and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma during Global Youth Service Days, April 17-19.  The bookmark project was connected to the Literacy Challenge!  sponsored by the Bezos Foundation.  The foundation matched $1 per bookmark made.

The Casady YAC  action, creativity, and collective efforts facilitated by Ananya, and supported by friends from other schools and family will help bring books and literacy resources to students through Save the Children’s Literacy Boost programs in Peru, Nepal and Mali.  

Check the bookmark counter to see how many bookmarks were created .  The contact person at the Bezos Foundation is   VALERIE SLOANE | Programs Assistant tel 206-275-2048 ext 124 mobile 206-724-5525  Website | Facebook | Twitter
Ananya sent the following reflective thoughts to the Bezos Foundation of the bookmarks collected and where they came from. Ananya hopes that they find the children in Nepal, Mali, and Peru, and hopefully brighten someone's day. 

"We collected 7,838 decorated bookmarks, and 400 blank bookmarks for the children to decorate themselves. While collecting bookmarks, I found a sense of community. People wanted to help. People from 7 states sent me bookmarks from across the country. From a variety of faiths, youth groups from a Hindu temple, students studying at a Muslim school, Christians from all denominations, and Jewish persons as well. The bookmarks embraced the individuality and expression of the people who made them, from
being sewn, duct-taped, glued, stickered, painted, and drawn. From little children at the Boys and Girls Club learning how to cut paper, to 5 and 7 year old boys spending their allowances on bookmark supplies to create some for children half-way around the world, to an 86 year-old retired woman and everyone in between. 
The bookmark project showed that everyone cared, and we're willing to contribute, and presented a unified front."
-Ananya B'17 Casady School / UWC-USA

Thank you so much for this note.  7,838 bookmarks is astonishing – way to go! I opened the box you shipped just yesterday and the bookmarks your group made are so, so lovely. And the bookmarks people sent you from all over the country were amazing too – thank you for rallying so many people to the cause and generating so much additional participation in the Literacy Challenge!

It sounds like you got to experience the overwhelming wonder of seeing peoples creativity, action and generosity pour in the same way we here as Students Rebuild do every time we check our email or go to the post box to see packages coming in! It’s so, so fun and gives me such solid hope to see that young people are excited and eager to be connected and help out on a global scale. I’m so glad our program can help make that happen!

An unexpected result of the bookmark project is that Casady School is a possibility to have a webcast with the children of Peru

 The webcast will likely on or around Sept. 8th 2015 (World Literacy Day), and will require 40 minutes of live ‘air’ time (a little time to prep and settle before going live is probably needed as well!). The time is still TBD.
               Your classroom would have to have reliable internet and video conferencing capabilities (audio and visual); having a tech specialist at school is a plus!
               Your students should be knowledgeable about this issue, have participated in the Challenge, and be prepared and excited to have a thoughtful dialogue with the participants in Peru and second U.S. Ambassador school. GNG will update our curriculum to include a section devoted specifically to Peru as well that might be good to review with students –and I’m sure you would have a lot of knowledge to share too!
               You would need some brief time to work with our partner, Global Nomads Group, to do a trial run of the software, run of show and logistics check in beforehand.

Ideally, the Youth Advisory Council students who were engaged in the project this year would be the best participants – and at least 10-20 students is perfect. I know with scheduling and rounding up that group during the school day might be difficult – so please let me know your thoughts. Our webcasts are a really special, unique learning experience – so I hope you can join us!

Here is the link to a recent Literacy Challenge webcast from Malawi: