The Changemaker Student Grants, supported by the ISP Fund, allow our students to make an impact on our local or global community through their changemaker projects.
In January of 2023, we were delighted to welcome Aaron Moniz, educational consultant and co-founder of the organization, Inspire Citizens, to ISP. Over the course of his one-week visit, Aaron worked with educators, students, and parents, to support the ISP mission of Inspiring, Engaging, and Empowering all learners to be Curious- Competent-Compassionate Changemakers! It was an incredible week for our community, with many students feeling excited and empowered to progress with their projects for ISP Changemaker Grants, supported by the ISP Fund.
Hi Aaron! We are so grateful to have you here at ISP and excited to hear about the work you have been doing. Tell us about Inspire Citizens.
Inspire Citizens works with schools to enhance teaching and learning by making it more action-based, empowering students to become changemakers focused on service, sustainability, and social justice. We help to set up whole school programs, supporting a scope and sequence of action, so change-making is happening throughout the curriculum and at all age levels.
Give us a snapshot of how you’ve spent your week at ISP.
ISP is strong and clear in its mission to inspire changemakers, and the work I do ensures that this mission is being lived through curricular approaches, professional development, and co-curricular support.
This is my second year partnering with ISP, and a lot of the work last year was around building sustainability into the science curriculum and into student leadership. We’ve made tremendous progress in that area, so during this visit, I’ve focused on supporting ISP in its transition to the IB Programme and especially in the aspect of ‘change-making’.
I have been collaborating with teachers and working directly with the Learning Coaches in each section. We have been shaping curriculum design and enhancing action in the programme of inquiry, especially in the PYP (Primary Years Programme). In the MYP (Middle Years Program, G6-10), we have been developing ‘Service as Action’, interdisciplinary units, and sequencing the actions and service from a curriculum standpoint.
I have also been working with students to support their change-making projects and strategies. I worked with the 8th graders in advisories on their Community Project, as well as student leaders involved in elective courses and design classes.
Can you tell us about the Edge in Education presentation you delivered to parents last week?
I really wanted to bring parents into the process and help them see that being a changemaker, the IB mission, and what Inspire Citizens do is a perfect marriage between programs. What “action” means in the PYP, is essentially ‘be a changemaker’. What ‘service as action’ means in the MYP, is also a lot of what it means to be a ‘changemaker’.
Shifting to the Full IB Continuum program helps ISP live that mission of being a Curious-Competent-Compassionate Changemaker more consistently.
What inspired you to create Inspire Citizens?
There’s nothing more important than spending every day working with kids to figure out how they can make a difference in the world and do their part to create a more harmonious future.
And if that means creating systems at schools, providing professional learning to teachers, parents, and building systems so that that can happen, then that’s what I want to spend every day doing.
And when I wake up knowing that that’s the task ahead of me, I feel fulfilled. And I am so grateful to have started a company that’s based on those values and vision.
The Changemaker Student Grants support our students to make an impact on our local or global community through their ‘changemaker’ projects. Not only will receiving a Changemaker Grant empower our students with the funding to bring their idea to life, but the process itself provides incredible learning for students, furthering their competencies to research, think critically and creatively, and communicate for varied audiences and purposes.
During the 2022/23 academic year, students will be introduced to the Changemaker Grants in the following venues and timelines:
- Grade 5 Primary Years Programme Exhibition (February)
- Grade 8 Middle Years Programme pilot Community Project group (week of 19 September)
- Grade 10 Middle Years Programme pilot Personal Project group (week of 19 September)
- Grade 9 & 10 Entrepreneurial Changemaker students (week of 26 September & second semester)
- Middle & Upper School Design classes (week of 26 September)
- Grade 11 Science students for their Group 4 project (Spring)
The students’ grant proposals will be reviewed quarterly by a committee composed of teachers, IB Coaches, the Director of Learning R & D, and parents.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN 2021/22
Your generosity and involvement in the life of ISP make us the great school that we are today.
Please consider making a gift to ISP Fund in 2022/23.