Category Archives: Events

AmbassadorTravelLogs

Bancroft Elementary After School Program

dinabancroft

Contributed by Site Coordinator Hannah Ross

It’s hard to believe that Sports for Sharing just completed its seventh week at Bancroft Elementary school! And just last week, we had a special visit from S4S Founder and Executive Director, Dina Buchbinder (above), and began our After School S4S program with first and second graders.

AmbassadorTravelLogs

Bancroft students hard at work on their Ambassador Travel Logs

We were delighted that Dina was able to join us for a special S4S session in Mr. Frye’s music class. With the help of S4S volunteer, Maria Caceres Moyano, we led ‘sound detectives’ (the students) on a walk in the neighborhood to record the various natural and man-made noises they heard. When we returned to class, we reflected on the effect the origin of those noises have on our environment. The fun didn’t stop there because later that afternoon, after school started!

The goal of the after school program is to complement what students are learning during the regular Sports for Sharing sessions and for students to become ambassadors of the program. Along with games and activities, first and second graders will begin to document goals they have to improve their communities in their Ambassador Travel Logs. Each week they will have time to reflect on their progress and share with the rest of the class their goal and explain which Millenium Development Goals and values are related.

Through the after school program, children are not only learning about global challenges, but they’re beginning to act on them, becoming agents of change in their communities!

 

superheroes

S4S Presents: UNICEF Superheroes!

2993880788_34402451f2_z

Contributed by Site Coordinator Molly Towey

Halloween is just around the corner and the second graders at Oyster-Adams plan to celebrate in style—superhero style!

Alongside the Assistant Principal, Rosa Berrocal, a group of around 15 second grade students will play superheroes who help address world problems, including access to education, disease prevention/access to medicine, environmental protection, and poverty and hunger. Led by “Lunch Lady” (Sra Berrocal), the students deal with these problems through collaboration. As a team, the students will confront two monsters that deprive the world of food/nutrition, education, environmental sustainability and medicine. The objective of the skit is to both present the UNICEF Trick-or-Treat boxes and show the students that they, too, can be superheroes and contribute to the alleviation of problems in their own community.

This activity has many benefits. The second graders will share with their classmates all they have learned about the Millennium Development Goals, they will raise awareness of the UNICEF Trick-or-Treat program, they will demonstrate the Sports for Sharing program to their parents, and they will have an introduction into forming initiatives. The students are creating their costumes and writing the skit themselves—they are the driving force in this performance. It is so gratifying to participate in this process with them.

We cannot wait to see these superheroes save the world!

 

Ferguson Children

How to Talk About Ferguson with Children

Ferguson Children

When momentum-shifting events occur in this country, such as the likes of the volatile situation in Ferguson, Missouri, it’s important to recognize that this news is almost impossible to avoid. We should not be naive to think that children, whether they are watching or not, will undoubtably come across it on various TV channels, on their computers, tablets, on public streets and newspapers. Thus, it’s important not to suppress a child’s curiousity about the subject, nor ignore the subject when kids are aware that it is happening. As kids begin to head back to school, they will be looking for a sense of direction on these issues both at home and at school, and maybe relying on their teachers to help them understand current events. That said, here are some tips and advice in addressing issues such as the case in Ferguson involving violence, race and politics.

Open Up Communication on the Topic Get ahead of the issue by bringing up at home or in the classroom so the children know right away you are not tip toeing around the event. Ask them what they know or what they have heard about the situation in Ferguson. Make sure they understand it’s ok to express what they are feeling about it and what they are thinking. Considering the heated talk about race, police brutality, riots and politics, it is better to allow children an outlet to say what is on their mind than letting them simply internalize the moment.

Clarify the Situation There is a good chance that children won’t fully understand a situation like the Michael Brown case in Ferguson and the rioting they have been witnessing streamed on loop on various TV networks. They may, for example, misinterpret the risk the situation has of affecting their own family and community, while most of the violence has been isolated to the St. Louis region. You can reassure kids by clarifying the gravity of the situation, the imminent (or lack of) danger and asking them what they think they are seeing on TV or in the news. It’s better to help children clarify then wrongly assume you know what they are thinking.

Educate Yourself and Plan Ahead 

Children can experience a multitude of reactions to traumatic events. As a parent/educator, consider it a part of your job to research and learn reactions children might exhibit after witnessing the street violence and protests the past few weeks. Do your homework and find the resources in your community that can help you gain information on managing the reactions of children to these types of events. Knowing ahead of time who you can go to and where you can access help for the children will make it much easier to give your community’s youth the proper guidance.

Be Ready

Again, think ahead and know your own personal plans in addition to your local school and community’s plan in case of dealing with impactful, possibly traumatic events. While we can’t control what is broadcasted on television or how far reaching these events affect children and adults alike, being ready gives us some semblance of control that consequently gives children some sense of security. Don’t be afraid to revisit topics long after events like the Michael Brown case have passed.

I remember distinctly the ramifications of the 9/11 attack growing up, and how teachers, even a year or more later would gather us in small groups to reflect and discuss how we felt about the attack then, how we felt about it with the passing of time and if anything had changed. While it may have seemed unnecessary to some, looking back I’m happy we were given those opportunities to speak our minds in a comfortable setting with friends and teachers we knew had a vested interested in our well being. We don’t ever know for sure when these kinds of events will pop up, but we can be prepared ahead of time to foster communication and knowledgeable support for our children and students in our local community.