Erin Maitland from Toronto organized experiential learning workshops for her students
TELL US ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES AND IMPACT OF YOUR PROJECT
I hosted a one day event for intermediate students at St. Josephine Bakhita to introduce them to the Duke of Edinburgh award program and to focus on experiential learning. There was four workshops provided focusing on skill development, community service, physical recreation, and adventure and exploration, the principles of the Duke of Edinburgh Award program. The skill workshop was coding, the physical recreation workshop was European handball, the adventure workshop focused on mapping and compass skills, and the service workshop was focused on creating 100 love boxes for the Super Sofia Project. Specifically, by exposing the students to the Award and providing them with unique opportunities that are often lacking in the community due to several barriers, such as income, accessibility, etc.
TELL US HOW YOU RECRUITED AND INVOLVED YOUR PEERS IN THE PROJECT
I asked my peers and colleagues at work for assistance. They were highly interested in assisting in opportunities for student growth.
WHO DID YOUR PROJECT ENGAGE AND WHAT IMPACTS DID YOU AND YOUR TEAM ACHIEVE?
The participants were aged 10-13. The love boxes were created for youth aged 5 to 7, 50 boys and 50 girls. Our team saw students step outside their comfort zones, learn in different ways, and make new friends across the grades. They also recognized the benefits of helping others outside their school community.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS ACHIEVED THROUGH YOUR PROJECT
My biggest success from this project would revolve around the positive feedback we received from the participants. All the participants were happy with the experience (as expressed in their surveys) and many of them came to thank us at the end of the event. Another huge success (at least for me) was the fact that we were able to finish the conference right at the time promised to the parents!
TELL US ABOUT THE LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH YOUR PROJECT
Through this project, I learned the importance of organization and collaboration. This was a project that I had started planning in the summer, and I am very happy for my decision to do so. I would have never imagined all the different responsibilities that I would have as the organizer, and so I am glad that I gave myself the time to adjust to this position. In addition, my peers all helped so much in this process and ensured a successful event for the participants. They all took full responsibility towards the tasks they had been assigned and were constantly in whatever capacity possible.
If I were to change one thing about the conference, I would make the keynote presentations longer. Many of the participants expressed their interest in hearing more from the inspirational speakers at the event and even having a Q and A session with them!
Erin Maitland during Passion to Purpose 2019 at Acadia University, Wolfville, NS