OSWEGO – Students at Leighton Elementary School recently read about children changing the world, and how they could make a difference.
In the book, Ryan’s Well, by Susan Buckley, students learned how one young boy raised money for wells in Africa.
In Barbara Fierman’s story about Ana Dodson, A Young Hero with a Big Heart, the readings emphasized how a young girl helped orphans in Peru.
After finishing the books Leighton Elementary School students were posed the questions, “What did the stories teach you?” and “Describe something you could do to make a difference.”
As it turns out, students learned quite a bit from the readings. In fact, they all wanted to feel like they could make a difference.
According to Leighton School literacy specialist Amy Armet, the students talked about how the children in the books used their own money or raised money to build the wells and help the orphans.
“When the students started talking about how they could make a difference, they definitely felt concerned or sad that could not be like the children in the books, because they didn’t have the money or means for making money,” Armet said. “So I encouraged them to brainstorm ways to make a difference in a way that would not cost money.”
The brainstorms resulted in discussions on how the students could recycle, pick up litter, help others quit smoking, or simply play games with someone who is lonely or never included.
“It was great to hear the ideas from the students,” Armet said. “They really came up with some wonderful ways to make a difference or help others.”
McKenzie Partlow, a fourth grade student at Leighton, donated her hair to Locks of Love, a national non-profit group that provides donated hair pieces to financially disadvantaged children in the U.S. and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
She wanted to make a difference – twenty inches of difference!
“She went beyond the journaling or sharing with the group,” said Armet. “She went out and truly made a difference.”