Saskatoon students give back to the community in the community

Watch above: A new program to teach students to give back to the community has them hands-on in the community. Aaron Streck takes a look at personalized learning.

SASKATOON – “We’re here to help out and learn more about Saskatoon, the city that we live in.” Blair Gillies Grade 5 class at St. Mark School isn’t learning about the community they live in from text books, they’re learning first hand.

“At the start of the year we came up with a question, how can I be a contributing member of a healthy community?” said Gillies. “What we’re doing is we’re creating relationships, doing an inventory of our city and teaching the kids that there are people in our city that don’t have and there’s organizations that provide for people.”

Volunteering at the Friendship Inn was only part of giving back. The students help serve food, interact with guests, clear tables and clean dishes. After documenting the experience and asking questions the students will be making a video for the non profit organization.

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“We have lots of classes come in, we love when the classes come in and it’s neat to see how different classes engage differently,” said Amy Bratton, the volunteer and events coordinator at the Friendship Inn.

“One class collected lotion they wanted to give out to the guests and in this class engaging the skills they have in media to give back to us as a tool we can use is really fun.”

“I want to make a really good video so people will want to come and volunteer here and they’ll change they’re thinking about the homeless people,” said Remy Doucette, a Grade 5 student at the school.

“I hope that everyone can discover the Friendship Inn and like more people will volunteer and help the homeless people,” added Patrice Rosales, who is also a student at St. Mark School.

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The project is part of personalized learning initiated by the students. Donating a little bit of time is already going along way.

“They were talking about ways to come back and continue they’re volunteering,” said Gillies.

After this project, the Grade 5 class plans take the subject of community a step further and ask the question, why is there poverty in our community and what can be done about it.

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The finished video is expected to be complete in the coming weeks.

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