Recently, Tom Damms, the co-founder of Dignity – an organisation dedicated to supporting Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic – visited our Grade 8 class to deliver a presentation aimed at inspiring students for their upcoming Grade 8 Community Project.
The mission and values of Dignity struck a chord with two of our students, Ariel and Lilly, prompting them to partner with the organisation for their Community Project.
The IB Grade 8 Community Project is designed to empower students to actively engage with their local communities while applying the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the MYP (Middle Years Programme). The primary goal of this culminating project is to encourage students to investigate a community issue or need, implement a project that addresses this need, and reflect on their personal learning. The Grade 8 Community Project not only fosters a sense of curiosity and compassion but also cultivates critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.
“The Grade 8 Community Project allows students to develop a wide range of skills through a long-term project and see themselves as changemakers by addressing needs in communities they care about. The reflective part of the project allows students to identify their learning and allows them to transfer this to other contexts such as the G10 Personal Project.”Matt Eames, MYP Projects Coordinator
Avid bakers and motivated to make a positive impact, Lilly and Ariel recently contributed to Dignity’s shoe drive by baking over 100 gingerbread and baked jam cookies to distribute to those in line.
“It was really fun and exciting. We got these official vests, so we really felt a part of Dignity. It wasn’t a very large space, so people came in batches, and we were there to hand out the cookies. It was really nice to see that they liked them,” expressed Ariel.
“There were these two older women who were really nice to us and they thanked us for being there. It felt really good to know that people liked the cookies. They were speaking Ukrainian so I didn’t really know what they were saying exactly, but since I speak Russian I could understand a few words and talk to the people a little bit.”Lilly, Grade 8
Building on the success of their recent initiative, Lilly and Ariel are eagerly planning future events with Dignity, including a potential clothing drive scheduled for February.
Reflecting on what it means to be a changemaker, Ariel reflected, “A changemaker is not necessarily someone who makes great change on the whole world. Even if it’s something small, like making a few people happy by baking cookies, I think that’s a small change but still a real change.”
Lilly echoed this sentiment, stating, “I think a changemaker is someone who makes a change, no matter how big or small, and makes an impact and makes someone smile.”
Stay tuned for more updates as these Grade 8 students continue to inspire change and make a real difference in their community.