We are excited to announce that we will be offering the Social Change Makers program 1.0 summer program for youth ages 8-9, 10-12, 13-15 and 16+. I will be hosting a short information webinar this Thursday May 21 @ 4:00 pm EST. If you would like to join us please fill out this form here and you will be sent a zoom link. Learn more about the program below.
Last summer I started to plan for an extra curricular program called Social Change Makers for youth in grade 6 – 8 here in Osgoode, ON Canada. I had arranged to have a face to face program start in February 2020. The goal was to engage youth in a learning opportunity where they work on important skills required for life in the fourth industrial revolution. These skills include: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, Global Awareness, Active Learning with a growth mindset, Judgement and Decision Making, Interpersonal Communication Skills, Leadership Skills, Diversity and Cultural Intelligence, Embracing Change, Mindfulness and Self Care, Resilience
Example of a project completed in the Social Change Makers Program. Small acts that can make a huge difference.
The program was going to include a focus on connecting with community and social entrepreneurship. Unfortunately due to some health issues I decided to put it on hold and run it at a later date. Little did I know that we would be quarantined in March of 2020 and I would be looking for things for my kiddos to do. So, I decided to find a way to put the program into virtual form and the birth of Social Change Makers 1.0 came about.
After a few emails and phone calls to friends and family the program began on April 6th. We have 21 youth from all around Ontario, Quebec, England and Scotland. We meet virtually once a day for approximately 30 minutes to an hour either as a full group, in small groups or a one on one with myself for check ins. On Thursdays we do a live podcast broadcast on our Social Change Makers podcast via Voiced Radio. The idea of the “virtual” program is not to be online for very long, but to socialize and interact with youth, have discussions and then leave with meaningful activities that the youth have helped to co-create. And with everyone being at home right now it has been helpful for some parents who are trying to work and homeschool all at the same time.
The first few weeks were spent getting to know one another, discussing different ways to learn, working on a project where the youth taught themselves a skill, they looked at their strengths and weaknesses as well as figured out what motivates them. They also made lists of all the things they love to do. We then moved on to have a look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we looked at what they are and what we can do to support them. We had a few guests from the youths specific communities and learned about what these organizations were doing to help with the sustainable development goals. We learned about period poverty, climate change, homelessness, affordable housing, the importance of intergenerational relationships and mental health and well being.
“I simply wanted to email and say thank you – what an amazing job you are doing. I literally am so excited for my son and the week ahead you have planned for him. It is amazing how easily it all seems to be working; I am sure you have put in so much work. Well done. It is fantastic.” J. Sweetland, UK
Next we looked at the following questions; what am I passionate about? What UN SDG’s speak to me? Was there a specific not for profit that really resonated with me? From here the youth picked an issue to dive deeper into, learn more about it and see if they felt they could become an ambassador for this issue.
“He seems to be really loving it and always has a smile when he comes down from the zoom chats.” R. Rendall-Jones UK
Next up it was time to figure out how to take everything that we had learned in the program prior to this; importance of relationships, learning to learn, passion and motivation and pair those things to find a way to make a positive impact on the youths community, country and the world by coming up with solutions. This is where we are now. We are currently in the planning stages of amazing projects. It has been so amazing to watch the youth get super excited about these projects, co-plan them and get started. Below is a list of some of the cool projects that are being spearheaded by youth between the ages of 11 – 14.
- Upcycling clothes to prevent waste and help the environment.
- Virtual Art Campaign / Show to look at climate change and the injustices in the foster care system.
- Minecraft Charity Stream for many different issues (Accessible Water, Change in Education and Climate Change).
- Online Settlers of Catan Tournament to support Children’s Rights in Canada.
- Team Challenges to support Climate Action.
- Writing of a Children’s picture book to discuss climate change.
- Spreading awareness about period poverty and collecting donations to create period packs.
- Collecting food and donations to support the homeless.
“LOOOOOVE that my daughter is doing this! If I didn’t have my own work to do I’d be sitting in- so maybe it’s a good thing I can’t! Thank you for all you’re doing x” N. Harris, UK
We are all very excited about these projects and are hoping for success, however if by chance any of these projects fail that is ok too. We are busy learning skills on how to be successful, but we are also learning to learn from our failures, how to be ok with it and how to pick ourselves up when things don’t go our way. No matter what happens both the youth and I are learning valuable skills through every step we take and I know for a fact that I am loving it.
“Today is the first day in the history of my daughter’s formal learning that she has woken up early, washed her face, eaten breakfast and said: ok what do I have to do today? She dove into the work plan and has already made her first contact with a potential mentor. What a wonderful thing to witness. Thank you.” B Atkinson, QC
Please come and join the youth as they embark on their projects on any of the social media platforms below. If you would like to join us on the webinar this Thursday please fill out this form here and you will be sent a zoom link.
Facebook Social Change Makers
Tik Tok @socialchangemakers