Grandmothers of Steel
When my Grandmother spoke, I listened. She survived Nazis, Communists and grandchildren. Yet she always had time for making schnitzel. Grandmothers are special; we know this. The partnership our students have formed with a very special grandmother has been inspiring. Her name is Lisbie Rae and over the last 2 months she has made regular visits to our classroom. This energetic and inspiring woman is a part of the Grandmothers of Steel! This amazing group has partnered with the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) and with TD Canada Trust, raising over $200, 000 in the last 4 years to help grandmothers in Africa. Grandmothers helping grandmothers! What makes this program such a great fit for a Facing History Classroom is that Grandmothers of Steel and TD has given our class $250 to spend as Lisbie calls it, “seed money.” Students brain storm fundraising ideas and are given what they need to buy supplies and then the profits are donated back, while returning the $250 for next year. This concept is known as Table Banking. Table banking is used in Rwanda to help grandmothers there raise their orphaned grandchildren. Rwanda is a central unit in teaching Genocide. What better way to connect students to the history than to fundraise for the survivors of Rwanda. Students are able to study the genocide and then help with the healing.
Grandmothers of Steel
In this interview, we asked Rob Simon, Assistant Professor of Multiliteracies in Education at OISE/University of Toronto (Dept of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning), to tell us more about the Teaching to Learn Project so we could better understand how and why collaborative (teacher-adolescent) curriculum planning worked, why he chose Elie Wiesel's Night as the study text, and where he got the idea to ask project participants to paint on the pages of the text as a form of reading response.
The images below are the culmination of those responses, which were mounted in an exhibition titled After Night.
As my students build their journals, ideas of injustice and intolerance flood their pages. Yet this month, the pens are down and students of Genocide are standing up and speaking out. Mathew Jones A.K.A “TESTAMENT” provided Waterdown students with the tools and the inspiration to put their thoughts into Spoken Word Art.