The learning process is most often associated with a set of indoor locations, i.e. classrooms, lecture halls, workshops, etc. Today, we want to add another location to that list, our own communities. With grass roots initiatives and a call to action on a local level for change reaching a fever pitch across the nation, there is no better time to step out of our respective institutions and into our neighborhood streets.
Many children learn about news and events on a macro-level. They hear national headlines, accept them as truths, and in many instances become frustrated with the notion that their voice is too small to make a difference. This is why it is of paramount importance to engage and encourage our children to get out into the community and see the difference they can make. Tossing a pebble into a large pond starts a ripple effect that is far more reaching than the size of that stone. Let’s encourage our kids to be that pebble and make some waves. Change doesn’t have to be political or a topic you hear on the news. In your child’s world, making a change could be as simple as making sure that no child eats lunch alone, or that someone has a partner in the latest playground game.
The lessons that can be learned through active participation are more engaging, authentic and tangible than the ideas that are merely discussed. By going into the community, children become a part of it and are not mere bystanders. They learn to engage with others, identify needs and problem-solve in order to better the world around them. Through shared passion for causes small or big, kids from all socio-economic backgrounds, races, and religions learn to organize and come together – a celebration of similarities and a removal of differences.
This type of activism is happening on a multitude of levels in our own backyard! As leaders in 21st Century education and Social Emotional Learning, Camp EDMO® is proud to incorporate the philosophy of making change into our curriculum. One of the ways we’re doing this in Summer 2017 is through our partnership with Kidmob. In our Smile Mob Challenge session, EDMO Pro campers will work as a team to design an interactive pop-up sculpture with the simple purpose of brightening people’s day. At the end of the week campers will look for ways to display their pop up sculptures in the community with the goal of making people engage, smile and laugh. Now that’s a cause we can all stand behind!