Grade 8 Boys Take Action

The Action Project, which in previous years saw the boys in Grade 8 learn about social issues and attempt to come up with possible solutions, has shifted this year to working with the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). 
Now, for the Action Project, the boys pick a social issue and a related charity and prepare presentations about that charity. The boys are judged, with the winning group taking home $5,000 for their charity. 

The YPI project lived in the Senior School for many years, thanks to Emma Totten, Coordinator of Global Partnerships and Real World Connections. Now, Action Project instructor Justin Briginshaw thinks it’s a perfect fit for the Grade 8 students. 

“Our course is entirely based on social justice and social issues, so it made sense that the YPI, which is grounded in social issues and related charities, became the focus of the Action Project,” said Mr. Briginshaw. 

The boys spend one hour each work working on their Action Project and at the end of April, went to visit their charities of choice. Social issues in which students have taken interest this year include youth homelessness, anti-Black racism, gender-based violence, poverty and anti-Indigenous racism. Mr. Briginshaw says the boys have been really into the project and he can see their growth as a result. 

“They’re getting a lot out of the course. It’s teaching them to be outward thinkers and to consider the experiences of others, especially those who are often marginalized,” he said. “Hopefully it will build empathy and teach them to be a bit more engaged with the wider community.” 

Grade 8 student Andy van Nostrand and his group chose the issue of disability rights and are working with the charity Good Foot, a delivery service that employs people with developmental disabilities. He’s loving the group work and is aiming to win the $5,000 for his charity. 

“If we won the $5000, it would really help the charity,” said Andy, who said they chose that issue because it’s not one that gets much attention. “We learned that they are pretty short on money. It would be great to help them make a difference.”