Select students from Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School had the chance to participate in a celebration of young people committed to making a difference. WE Schools is the yearlong program that nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create change in their local and global communities. The program is about shifting the mindset from “me to we” and that “doing good is doable”.
OLHMS first had to qualify to be a part of it, needing to prove that they help out locally as well as globally. Students had to petition to go, answering the question in a paragraph format “Why do you deserve to be a part of We Day Illinois?”
7th grade student Leah Bradbury answered that question this way: “It was so much fun hearing about other peoples stories and hearing some people perform! I also think our school should be involved in it because we do a lot at our school like the 6k, food packaging, box tops, etc. At WE day we all watched performers, heard peoples stories of what they do to make a change or how they feel about a certain topic, got to go “shopping”. It was all amazing and we went with good students and teachers. I can bring this back to my fellow students by showing them videos, telling them about it, or telling them what they could do to make a change because that is what WE day is all about! Thank You so much for this amazing opportunity! I am so happy I got to go on this field trip and I really hope I could go next year too.”
For Global Studies instructor Kate Ryan, the day was full of ideas to bring back to the classroom. “In almost every Global Studies lesson there are opportunities for students to learn what THEY can do to be a responsible global citizen. I think it’s so important to teach students about the impact they can have on their generation and future generations to come. I borrow We Day’s motto of changing their mindset from “me to we” in all that I teach. It’s not about having money to donate. It’s about using what you do have, like a voice to raise awareness, or being an advocate, and discovering what it is you’re passionate about,” said Kate Ryan.