I have the best principal. She nurtures my enthusiasm and responds to my "I had this idea..." emails with positive encouragement. Which is how I came to host a TEDxYouthDay Viewing Party for the 4th grade members of our school Student Council. My "I had this idea..." email about this event began with the purpose to empower and inspire students in their role as leaders. The Student Council is a passionate group of about 40 students who are committed to making our school a better place and the ultimate learning environment. After sharing a few TEDx talks with this group, they inspired me to give up a Saturday to come back to school and "Play, Learn, Build & Share." Okay, and the speaker lineup for TEDYouth on 11/19 is pretty impressive and I knew this group of students would love it.
We have embraced the TEDxYouthDay theme Play, Learn, Build & Share and, in addition to watching the live webcasts, we have many student-led activities planned encompassing an array of crafts that include up-cycled bottle caps, friendship bracelets, knitting, origami recycling bins (how cool is that!?!), and tie-dye t-shirts to become our "official" Student Council t-shirts. Students have also planned science experiments, a model rocket launch, and several musical performances. We're going to take on The Marshmallow Challenge together and launch our Student Council blog to share with our school community and other school groups around the country.
I firmly believe that when we take the time to empower youth and give children the opportunity to use their voice we are truly shaping the leaders of tomorrow, who will be prepared to tackle with creativity and innovation the unknown future that lies ahead. Children can, and do, make a difference in our schools, communities, and our world. Believe in them, give them the opportunity and they will be the change.