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Change Makers in the MAKING!

Posted by on February 16, 2012


How could we NOT be Change Makers with an inspiration like ASHLI? Check her out ... in Q'enqo ... helping to repair the future LIBRARY that we are helping to build ... a CONTINENT away!

Ya, but, what does that REALLY mean?  In Alberta, we are so fortunate to have a social studies curriculum that is RICH with potential for Global Citizenship and change making opportunities.   How does one go about FINDING the perfect vehicle for developing an understanding of global issues, cultivating personally meaningful relationships and a genuine desire to be a “change maker” with EIGHT year old school children?  Are they even MATURE enough to understand that ANYONE can make positive change in the world, no matter HOW young or how OLD?  Well … sometimes … you are LUCKY enough to have it fall right into your LAP!  And, as long as you nurture your students’ natural curiosity about the world, allow them to ask questions and seek answers, and inquire right along SIDE them … a WORLD of opportunities await you!  Our relationship with Ashli Akins and Sarah Confer, and their work in Q’enqo, Peru, through Mosqoy, was very MUCH like that.  Somehow, we were in the right place, at the RIGHT time, asking the right questions, allowing our inquiry to grow naturally, making online connections through the MAGIC of technology … and, SOMEHOW, on MANY levels … it chose US!

Technology - flattening the walls of the classroom - connecting us to Ashli, a continent away, in a little cafe in Cusco - real time! Laptops synced ... and current library clean up photos and video footage shared!

Our Global Grade Threes are CHANGE Makers!  They are helping to build and furnish a library on an entirely different continent, HUNDREDS of miles away.  But, being a change maker doesn’t have to even cost any MONEY!  The COOL thing, though, is it doesn’t even have to involve a relationship across the world, on a completely different CONTINENT!  It may AMAZE you to know that EIGHT year olds have a pretty KEEN insight into what it means to be an agent of change!  Here, in their OWN words, through snippets of their journal entries, are our students’ sage thoughts about how ANYONE can make a positive difference in the world:

“Today, Mrs. Renton talked to us about being a change maker.  One of the things that YOU can do is random acts of kindness.  Random acts of kindness can be lots and LOTS of things, but one SPECTACULAR thing is smiling at someone.  It might make their day!  You can spread the kindness if you do something good for someone and they ask you how can I help you.  You can say, “You can help me by doing something nice for three OTHER people.” and they would probably do it!”  (Larissa)

“I am going to help you be a change maker.  Step one:  keep the world clean and DON’T litter.  Step two:  if someone is hurt help them and tell a teacher.  Step three:  if someone is lonely or sad, give a smile and play with them.  Step four:  if someone is bawling tell the nearest teacher.  Step five:  if you are big and someone is small don’t tease them.  Make them feel big.  Step six:  if someone is telling a lie convince them to tell the truth!”  (Alexia)

Margaret Mead once said, “NEVER doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the ONLY thing that ever has.” How RIGHT she WAS!

“Hi, my name is Galen, and I want to explain about being the BEST for the WORLD.  Here are the TOP options:  1.  You can help a person pick up something he or she has dropped, (toys, keychains, credit cards, etc.)  2.  You can follow the GOLDEN rule by treating others the way YOU would like to be treated.  3.  You can be respectful to ALL living things, (dogs, cats, fish, deers, etc.)”  (Galen)

“I feel good for helping people because I am being generous to other people that I don’t know.  After you help someone, you feel great inside your HEART.  Like Ashli (Akins @Mosqoy).  She is making a library for Peru and that is changing the world for Qenqo.  It is AMAZING how people can change the world … like picking up garbage even if it is not yours!”  (Julia)

“I love talking about people who are change makers.  Those people are awesome.  I will talk about my family … Mom … whenever I fall or get hurt my mom ALWAYS helps me up.  If someone is mean to me I don’t do it back to them!”  (Zahra)

“Mrs. Renton read us a book called Jimmy and Ryan.  In 1998 one little boy called Ryan had a bad memory in his head, because his teacher said “Many African people die because they drink dirty water.”  His teacher also said you can build a well that has clean water with 70 dollars.  Ryan worked very hard to earn money.  He washed dishes, vacuumed the house, cleaned the house and helped cleaning the garden.  Four months later he had 70 dollars.  He donated 70 dollars to Africa.”  (Jun)

“Here are some simple steps to being a change maker for EVERYONE!  You can help by donating food, old clothes and money for charities and fundraisers.  But … that’s not ALL you can do to help!  It’s not JUST money that can help.  Say it’s your last piece of cheese on your plate.  You really love it but would rather give it to someone else, like a pet or a family member or a friend.  Simple things like this every day, is being the best for the world!  Some other things to help is sharing.  If someone desperately needs a pink pencil (crayon), lend it to them so they can complete their bouquet of flowers!  Or … it is great to help do chores.  And especially if you get paid and can donate your allowance … that’s two good things in one!”  (Ava)

It's AMAZING what can be accomplished when a GROUP of people comes together! Here, the Q'enqo community gathers to work on cleaning up the building destined to be the library! It's HARD work, but, MANY hands make it a LITTLE lighter!

“Hi!  Let me introduce myself.  You are probably wondering what my name is, right?  Well, my name is Thalia and I am going to talk to you about (how) you can be a change maker.  Did you know that you don’t have to be a BIG change maker?  You can just be a small change maker.  You can even be generous to other people like helping others without being told to.  Also, you can share with other people.   For example, if someone forgot their lunch kit, you can always share your food so they won’t starve, or you can help your Moms do their chores!”  (Thalia)

“I think Terry Fox is a HUGE change maker.  Terry was in a big race in the world.  He raised money for cancer.  Did you know that he had cancer?  I want to be like Terry Fox … so I am going to put the garbage in the garbage, and recycling in the recycling.  I am helping to build a library in Q’enqo Peru, by collecting money and by getting books.  It was fun to have Pajama Day to raise money!”  (Brenden)

“Everybody can be a change maker, like:  Terry Fox, Steve Jobs, Ashli and MANY more!  Steve Jobs was a Tech change maker.  He invented the iPad and iPad2.  Steve Jobs also had a few jobs; that’s how he thought of the iPad.  His first job was the Mac Apple.  He did lots of great things, and then he got fired.  His second job was in Pixar, they created Toy Story, Finding Neemo and other Pixar movies.  That’s why when you do some good things other people appreciate it.”  (Elijah)

“You can pick up garbage and put it into the garbage can.  Even, you can help by being nice to others.  You can be responsible.  Smile at everyone.  Help others nicely.  You should be polite a lot.  Recycling is what you should always do.  Be a friend to everyone.  Help your family a lot.”  (Sophie G.)

“It is important to help others.  If you do nothing it’s not helping the world to be a better place.  There’s lots of ways to make the world a better place.  Sometimes you can even help your parents to do chores around the house.  And, remember, it’s not that easy.  When sometimes you bump somebody and their books fall you can help picking them up.  That helps the world a lot.  If there’s a bully trying to hurt someone you can go up to him and say stop and fix the problem.”  (Rijul)

Together we really ARE stronger! Change Makers come in ALL sizes!

“You know who’s a change maker?  Well, change makers are doctors, vets, nurses, paramedics, fire fighters, and Moms and Dads.  These are change makers that you might know:  Terry Fox, Ryan and Jimmy, Ashli and Sarah (@Mosqoy), and the Grade Threes at (our) school!  You should be a change maker too because some stuff saves people’s lives.  And, if you see any garbage … pick it up because it helps the neighbourhood, it helps the school that you’re in and it helps the community!”  (Kaylee)

“A change maker can help others, he (can be) a good friend or share with others.  If you are a doctor you are a change maker.  Ashli is a change maker because she wants to help others.  You can be a change maker if you help somebody or pick up garbage.”  (Tormod)

“Terry Fox was a huge change maker because he raised money to stop cancer by trying to run across Canada!  He did something huge … but YOU can be a change maker because it doesn’t have to be big.  You can do small things like smiling to other people.  Picking up garbage and throwing it into the garbage can or recycling it.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated.  If someone doesn’t have anyone to play with let them join you.  Help someone that looks like they need help … but don’t do the work for them.  Make good choices even when no one is looking.  Be kind to others and use manners.  Help your family with chores.  We are actually helping Q’enqo Peru.  We’re raising money to build a library in Q’enqo!”  (Martin)

Passion, enthusiasm and engagement ... we really ARE making a difference!

“Hi, readers.  I’m going to tell you why it is important to be a change maker.  First of all, it’s not change that you get when you BUY something.  It is the kind of change when you want to make a difference in the world!  Being a change maker means not being a bully.  Being a change maker helping others … not bullying them.  Being a change maker is also picking up litter and cans!”  (Jesse)

“Hey, my name is Sophie, and I am going to teach you how to make yourself into a GREAT change maker!  Step one:  add belief and make a promise to yourself that you will NOT give UP!  Step two:  connect to the world and try to set a goal for yourself!”  (Sophie H.)

“People all over the world need help … that’s why we can help to make the world a better place to live.  Helping other people and animals is important because some animals in nature have hard times finding habitat and people can help.  Let’s try our best to make it better.  You can go around your block and pick up garbage.  You can also help other people when they are hurt.  You can also help by not bullying others.  You can spread your love and kindness any time you want!  I also have a plan for my own being the best for the world.  Me and my friends will go and help three people and tell them to help three MORE people!  See!  You can make a difference for the world for FREE!”  (Mya)

Q'enqo children watching the cleaning process with GREAT anticipation!

“When you find garbage on the ground you can pick it up and throw it away.  The reason it is important to clean up the world is with all the pollution the polar ice caps are melting, leaving MILLIONS of penguins homeless!  Another way of being a change maker is being kind to others.  The reason it is important to be kind to others is treat others the way you would like to be treated.  I know a lot of ways to be a change maker.  This is one of the ways – you can be polite and say no thank you when someone offers you something you don’t want.  There are other ways but my favourite one is – be respectful of all living things.”  (Damian)

“Heros make the world a better place.  It is called change making.  One of our change makers is Terry Fox because he tried to cure cancer … he even had cancer.  Terry Fox … he believed in himself.  One of the ways you can be a change maker is if someone put their garbage on the grass – pick it up and put it in the garbage.  Everyday heroes make my life change because without them the world would be crazy.  Do not do something bad, even if no one is watching.  Treat others thoughtfully.”  (Zack)

“Hi, readers!  I’m gonna talk to you about how picking up trash can make a BIG difference to the world.  You know small changes can be EXACTLY like making big changes too!  For example – you pick up a couple plastic bags … you wouldn’t think it’s important but it makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE to the world.  You may be asking yourself, “Is that the ONLY thing that could help the world?”  If so … NO … it is NOT!  You could do 1 000 other things to help the world.  I will tell you something … if you can do … little things … that turn into big things … then you’re ready to … do everything you CAN for the world! I pick up garbage all the time after school.  You can too.  Well, if you’re READY!”  (Natasha)

Yup!  Grade THREES … little EIGHT year olds … said all THAT!  They TRULY inspire me to be the best FOR the world each and EVERY day.  Why?  Because THEY matter and they make the journey incredibly worthwhile!  I hope they NEVER lose the sparkles in their eyes … their trust in humanity and their belief that we can ALL be change makers … EVERY day … in both tiny and SIGNIFICANT ways!

24 Responses to Change Makers in the MAKING!

  1. Sarah K

    Hello Change Makers!!! I am so moved by your explanations of how to become a change maker. You all said it so beautifully and thoughtfully. I am inspired. I also thought about change makers that I know of: my Dad, my sister, friends and even famous people, like the Queen of England! I think it is very special that you are becoming change makers at such a young age. Just think of how you will change our world as you grow up! Great job, guys!

  2. Wm Chamberlain

    I absolutely love what your class is doing. The combination of local community building and global service is great. Students, you are very fortunate to have teachers that emphasize kindness and respect. I am very impressed by what you shared on the post. It is easy to see that you are developing very important traits that will make a difference for you, your families, and your community. Way to go!

    Mr. C

    • Grade 3 Bloggers

      Hello Mr. Chamberlain, hope you are having a GREAT day!
      Thank you for your INSPIRING comment on our blog. Our class is truly ENJOYING sending and SHARING happiness around the globe. We are eagerly watching as the many CHANGES take place to the library in Q’enqo. It is so amazing to watch the progress of the library and we can’t believe that volunteers would walk that far to work that hard and then have to turn around and walk back before the rain starts again – it’s their rainy season there. That is dedication! We feel that being the best for the world is a GREAT goal and we agree that we WILL make a difference in our community as well as other communities.
      From Sophie, Zack, Natasha and Galen, on behalf of the grade 3 bloggers.

  3. Caroline & Wally

    Hello, Grade 3 bloggers. We are so impressed with your thoughts and ideas on changing the world. You all have shown such insight, responsibility, and maturity. You are all a real inspiration to us and we adults can learn so much from you. The pictures are wonderful too! Keep up the wonderful work. Your daytime grandparents!

  4. Cristina Milos

    I rarely use this word but I am amazed at the things you do in your classroom.
    Wonderful translation of learning principles into action!

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Cristina. Thank you SO much for taking the time to put a comment on our blog. It truly meant a lot to us and your words just really buoyed us up! Talk about an ARK, (Act of Random Kindness)! We are all LOVING this journey, and we hope that you keep checking back. We have a couple of new posts about our Libary project in Q’enqo, Peru … and a FUND raiser all the Grade Threes initiated, bringing the ENTIRE school together to help with the library in Peru! The Grade Three Bloggers (with a little help from Mrs. Renton) 🙂

  5. Mr P

    The thing is that we all want to make a difference, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Making a start is great. I will pass on your ideas to students at the school where I teach and your ideas may inspire them to do something too. So you have already made a difference.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Mr. P. Thank you for commenting on our blog. You are right. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start. Our class is going to start watching for ARKs, (Acts of Random Kindness), and we are going to start writing them down. We are glad that you are going to share our ideas at the school you teach at … because ARKs don’t have to be BIG … they can be SMALL! Even a SMILE can make someone’s day! Let us know how it goes! The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  6. Ross Mannell

    Hello Global Grade 3,

    When we first learn the word “change”, we think it’s what happens to our parent’s minds or what we have to do before going to bed. Later we find we can change other things like the channel on a television. For many, the discovery even a single person can make changes to better the world never comes. From your wonderful comments, I can see you have already realised you can make changes to make the world a better place.

    Larissa – Acts of random kindness is a wonderful approach and something I try to make a part of my daily life.
    Alexia – Keeping the environment clean, helping people who are hurt or sad show you care about others.
    Galen – Having respect for all living things and helping others shows kindness to the world.
    Julia – Generosity to others shows how much you care.
    Zahra – Spreading the word of how to be a change maker is another way of helping.
    Jun – Clean water may be something we take for granted but for many, clean water isn’t available.
    Ava – Donations, fund raising and being willing to share with others is a good way of living your life.
    Thalia – Sharing and being generous to other are great ideas.
    Brenden – Recycling and keeping the area clean are great for your school and home. Helping to build a library in another country brings change to the world.
    Elijah – I’ve been using computers since 1975 and in classes since 1981. Using technology we can also make changes.
    Sophie G. – Keeping the area clean, helping others, being polite, recycling and being a friend are great ideas.
    Rijui – Helping others is one of the best ways to say you care.
    Kaylee – There are many change makers in our society. They make differences in the lives of others. Helping, making good choices, having good manners are all great ideas.
    Tormod – Helping others and being a good friend are great ways of changing the lives of others.
    Martin – Keeping the area clean, helping others, being a good friend, making good choices, being kind and having good manners are all great ideas.
    Jesse – Not being a bully and keeping the place clean are great ideas.
    Sophie H. – Not giving up on promises to yourself and connecting with the world are good ideas.
    Mya – Helping others and animals, keeping the world clean, helping others, helping those bullied, and spreading love and kindness are great ways to change the world.
    Damian – Keeping the world clean, helping others, being kind, polite and respectful are all great ways of making changes.
    Zack – Keeping the world clean, treating others thoughtfully and choosing not to do bad things are great ideas.
    Natasha – Picking up litter is a good step in changing the world.

    Keep changing the world for the better.

    Teacher, NSW, Australia

    • Laurie Renton

      Dear Mr. Mannell,
      Thank you very much for the magnificent comment that you wrote to us. It meant a LOT to us because you took the time to write to each and every one of us, and comment on our thoughts about how to be Change Makers. Do you know any change makers in Australia? If so, we would love to hear about them! We wonder what the NICEST Random Act of Kindness was that ever happened to YOU? We think YOU are a change maker because you took the time to write this touching comment to a bunch of eight and nine year old strangers! Wow! You really made our day! Thank you!
      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂
      PS We LOVED seeing the Australian flag on our Flag Counter!

      • Ross Mannell

        Hello Grade Three,

        These days I’m retired from full time teaching so I no longer have a class but over the years I have known many children who were and are change makers. I can give you two class blogs to visit. Both classes are full of change makers you might find interesting. One is in the US and the other in Australia. They are very busy bloggers and are involved with other schools but I know they are interested when someone new visits and leaves comments….

        USA (even though the link looks like Australia, they’re in California)…


        Each of them have links to other classes around the world.

        You might also take a look at the 100 Word Challenge blog where each week children are given a new prompt. You have to use the prompt in your story and should write 100 or less words. I’m on Team 100WC. We’re a group of mostly teachers who each visit some of the entries and leave comments and make suggestions. The site can tell you what is needed if you want to enter your stories. Being someone who loves to write stories, I have fun seeing what my quota of entries have written.

        You can see the 100WC that has just ended (Each prompt ends midnight Tuesday). There were over 350 entries this time.

        The NICEST Random Act of Kindness?
        Perhaps one of the most recent ARKs (Acts of Random Kindness as I call them) was a simple comment on one of the 100 word stories I had written. The person who organises the site for adults to try their hand at writing asked if I was a professional children’s author. This is what she wrote…

        “Ross, how cute! I loved this little play on words! You capture the minds of children so well.
        May I ask if you are a children’s book author?”

        This simple comment made me feel wonderful. I would love to be a children’s book author but have never had anything published. Isn’t it amazing how a simple, few kind words can have a strong effect on a person. My favourite ARKs are the simplest ones where offering to help or saying kind words of encouragement or comfort to a stranger makes a difference in their lives.

        Sorry about the long reply. I do have a tendency to write long comments at times. ☺ Keep being change makers and making acts of random kindness. You’ll make the world a better place.

        Teacher, NSW, Australia

        • Laurie Renton

          Good morning, Mr. Mannell!

          Thank you for your amazing comment! Please don’t say sorry for your long reply – we learn SO much when people share their thoughts with us. You have definitely given us some GREAT tips and ideas. You might be surprised to know that Mrs. Yollis’ Class Blog is the one that gave us great tips on how to post thoughtful comments. She has inspired us, and her class blog is one that we try to follow!

          We cannot wait to check out the great links that you have shared with us … we will try to do that some time today. We can’t wait to look in on the Australian class blog!

          You know, YOU are a change maker, too … and you did a GREAT ARK! We LOVE your acronym ARK for Act of Random Kindness … and we are going to start RECORDING the ARKs we notice each and EVERY day! You did an ARK for US by taking the time to write back to us and by sharing awesome information with us. You made each and EVERY one of us feel important by commenting on EACH of our thoughts! THANK you!

          WE did an Ark YESTERDAY! Do you want to know HOW? We helped a class in ALABAMA … they were collecting pictures from all over America … so we extended it to NORTH America … to make a bulletin board that encourages kids to READ!!! They are calling this initiative “Read, Lead, Succeed”! They want kids to know HOW important it is to read so then they can become great learners … and … be anything they want to in life! We TOTALLY agree … and that is why we are helping to build a library in Q’enqo, Peru!

          We will send you the link because they want photos of ADULTS reading TOO … and you might be able to help THEM out too … just like you are helping US out! Wouldn’t it be GREAT if your picture and OUR pictures ended up on their BULLETIN board!

          Mr. Mannell – YOU are a Change Maker. Thank you for making a difference in OUR lives!

          The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

          • Ross Mannell

            Hello Grade 3,

            A short comment this time. I promise. 🙂

            I have seen the request for letters and pictures of readers from Class 11-12. I will see if I can find somewhere very Australian to photograph me reading, or at least somewhere special around town, I might then send a photo. The problem is, with me in the photo they might think it was more of a Halloween prank. “Come to Australia! No, wait, is he there? Let’s go to New Zealand instead.” 🙂

            Have fun in all your learning. My learning has never stopped. It’s been a lifelong journey of discovery and interest. There is always something new out there if we keep our five senses and minds wide open.

            Keep blogging. This is a very interesting study topic.

            Teacher, NSW, Australia

  7. Letsseni

    That is nice blog. I like your because it tell to do marked making, (mask making) .

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Letsseni. Thank you for your comment. It was really, really fun to make the masks! Have YOU ever made a mask? The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  8. Brian

    That is cool about the helping kids thing like if someone is alone so play with them.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Brian! Thank you for taking the time out of your school day to comment on our blog! We are going to start RECORDING the Acts of Random Kindness, (ARKs), that we see happen around us each day. Has anyone ever done an ARK for YOU? We would love to hear about it! The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  9. Karen

    Hi I like your website about libraries and I saw that you don’t have libraries and it was so sad.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Karen. Thank you to you and your classmates for taking the time to check out our Grade Three Classroom Blog. It means a lot to us. Our school has a magnificent library … FULL of AMAZING books. The village of Q’enqo Peru does NOT have a library, and the Grade Threes at our school have been helping to build one for the last TWO years. It makes us feel PROUD to be helping a community on a different continent! Check back … we will be writing about our latest Skype experience with Ashli on Friday. Sincerely, The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  10. Angela Maiers

    Hello Change Makers!!

    I am inspired and in awe of what you are doing. You are all truly inspiring me, and your actions and Habitudes make me want to be a better learner and teacher. You are very lucky to have a teacher who has recognized your genius, has given you the time to explore your talents, and has trusted you to do work that matters to the world

    The world is a better place because of your genius!

    I would like to extend an invitation to contribute a guest post about your project to my blog . I was so tempted to copy your teacher’s entire post and share every single inspiring word with my community, but hearing it from you personally would mean much much more!

    You can let me know your answer on Twitter. I am at @angelamaiers
    Or you can send me an email.
    YOU MATTER 3rd grade!

    YOU MATTER!!!!!

    • Laurie Renton

      Dear Angela,
      Thank you for your beautiful comment. It made us feel like we REALLY matter and that the world NEEDS change makers! Yesterday, when you commented on our blog, Mrs. Renton was SO excited, that we had to PEEL her off the CEILING!!! She told us that YOU are a VERY important change maker YOURSELF … so it made US feel PRETTY important!
      We LOVED that you asked us to contribute a guest post about our project on YOUR blog. Our hearts EXPLODED with HAPPINESS and excitement! We think YOU have shown US an incredible ARK, (Act of Random Kindness). Our class would be THRILLED to write a post for you in order to tell your reading community ALL about our adventures and journey helping to build a library in Q’enqo, Peru!
      Would it be alright if we worked on our guest post for you early next week? Tomorrow, we have TWO new posts we have to write … to catch our READERS up on a spirit day fund-raiser we held last week with our WHOLE school to put books onto the shelves in the new library in Q’enqo, and a post about our Skype with Ashli, the co-founder of @Mosqoy, telling us all about the building clean-up in Peru. (Would you BELIEVE that EIGHT and NINE year olds brought an entire school community together … and … we raised OVER $1200 dollars?!?)
      Thank you for MAKING our DAY, Angela!
      The Grade Three Bloggers (with a little help from their teacher Mrs. Renton) 🙂

  11. Ryan

    I have been a change maker sometimes! 🙂

    • Tannis Emann

      Ryan, it’s great to hear you are a change maker too! We’d love for you to share with us how you have been a change maker.

  12. Rod and Sue

    What a terrific project! Getting the grade threes from this fortunate part of the world to help others is a great life lesson. We are seeing how ARKs are not a one way affair. Giving without expectation or doing something good makes you feel good and is its own reward.

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