The following is from Ms. Stephanie Rivera, social studies teacher at South Orange Middle School.
Stephanie Rivera’s 8th grade social studies classes at South Orange Middle School have been working on projects related to immigrants, refugees, or immigration. Students chose and researched an issue and were then challenged with the task of proposing potential solutions and action steps. Students were permitted to implement real action steps if their passion pushed them to do so–which is what happened.
In fundraising efforts, Emily Huang, Louisa Maynard-Parisi, Zoe Newman, and Ogenna Oraedu raised a total of $363 from bake sales. Wendy Weeks and Gracie Umiker raised $450 from a “Coin Wars” fundraiser. Both of these student projects and collections will be donated to organizations that are currently working to help rebuild Haiti and assist Haitian refugees after Hurricane Matthew.
Although the final project is due Monday, many students asked if they could implement their action steps after the due date. At this time, Avani Mitra and Lily Forman are currently working on a “Change for Change” drive for 6th and 7th graders, collecting money to help Syrian refugees. On November 18th, four more students will be having a “Cupcake War” fundraiser to help collect money for impoverished schools with high immigrant populations.
In addition to fundraisers, many of students are also taking action steps to reduce discrimination and bullying against immigrants. Three students started their own campaign called, “Let’s Raise It” as a way to try and stop misconceptions and stereotypes about immigrants and refugees from being spread.
These are only a few of many incredible examples of student work with this project.