Kids Helping Kids
The Grade 4 Kids for Kids' Rights Fun Fair
If you pass by the Grade 4 classes this week, expect to see a hubbub of activity: students designing posters, pricing toys and books, testing-out carnival games, and crafting all sorts of wares. With just a few short days before the Kids for Kids' Rights Fun Fair, the excitement is expected: the classroom, the kids, and even our teachers are buzzing.
Ms. Chow-Go and Ms. Lum—guided by their Unit of Inquiry, Who We Are— have been teaching students about rights and responsibilities. When students learned that not all children can go to school, or have three meals a day, they wanted to help. This led to their action, organizing a fair, which will raise funds for BC Children's Hospital and Child Haven.
Ms. Chow-Go and Ms. Lum tasked students with exploring different charitable organizations and people who have made a difference. They brought in a professional from SFU's Beedie School of Business to explain the ABCs of business: place, product, promotion, and price—skills students will use to maximize their profit. They built up their Math skills to prep them for handling cash during the fair. They taught students that they're not too young to make a difference, and that they have rights and responsibilities to help others.
We sat down with Ms. Chow-Go and Ms. Lum to learn all about the road to the fair.
How many years have you been running this fair—what prompted it? and why do you keep doing it?
Ms. Chow-Go: This is our fourth year hosting; it was actually prompted by the students themselves. We had just finished learning about the lack of rights children might have in certain countries, and they wanted to do something to help. They brainstormed about ways to help. Some students piped up and suggested bake sales, or a lemonade stand, or a farmer's market... other kids became creative and figured "oh, I can do face-painting!" All the students' ideas culminated, and we decided to do one big event.
The first year we raised money for Free the Children—helping to build a school and a well in Haiti—and the second year we sent monies for supplies. The third year we let the students choose what charities to support. This year, we'll be raising money for Child Haven and BC Children's Hospital.
How did your classes happen upon those two groups?
Ms. Chow-Go: The students brainstormed the ones they might like to support. They went home and interviewed their parents, inquiring into the organizations they support, and they welcomed Shivani G. (Grade 12) who shared her experience working with Child Haven. They conducted their own research as well.
The students ultimately landed on Child Haven and BC Children's. They chose BC Children's Hospital because they had past experiences, or they knew someone who used their services, and they felt it was an important charity to support.
It was important for the students to choose one local and one global organization. Lack of rights isn't just abroad; it's in our own communities too.
Tell me a bit about the process from there: the kids don't just bring in a bunch of things to sell and hope it goes well, they develop business models.
Ms. Lum: We brought in Junior Achievement, and we were lucky that our guest presenter was in from the SFU's Beedie School of Business. She introduced kids to business, and they talked about the four P's.
Ms. Chow-Go: Students are learning about financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills.
Ms. Lum: We usually bring someone in April, but we wanted to bring the speaker in before the fair this year: we talked about pricing, place, profit, and promotion. These are the skills the students would use at the fair.
Ms. Chow-Go: They became aware of price points. It's a good experience for our Grade 4s.
Ms. Lum: For promotion, the students will go to each classroom to invite them to the fair—not just PYP, but also MYP and DP. They promote the event, but also the cause. They created banners and posters. They did a presentation at an assembly.
Ms. Chow-Go: The pricing took a bit of a guidance on our part, but they quickly learn how to make a profit. If your parents purchased and donated $40 of baking supplies to make cookies, you have to try to recoup those costs in selling the cookies.
You talk quite a bit about 'kids helping kids'. Can you elaborate on that?
Ms. Chow-Go: Throughout our Unit of Inquiry, we look at people who have made a difference. We try to find people who made a difference at a young age. Terry Fox was only 18.
Ms. Lum: Malala was another good example. We also talked about Craig Kielburger who was 12 when he took his action. Students start to realize it doesn't matter how young you are, you can make a difference.
How does this tie into your Unit of Inquiry?
Ms. Chow-Go: It's having kids be aware that not all children are as fortunate as them: in their own communities or abroad. They can make a difference by telling other people about charities—awareness is a big part of it. Even without the fair, the students learn about Salvation Army, Free the Children, Child Haven...
Ms. Lum: It doesn't matter what your age is. The action doesn't have to be big. We can work together... we can make a difference.