Grade 8 students begin Hearts and Minds Project

This year, in Grade 8, we have started our Hearts and Minds Project. We started by doing a "bus stop" activity, where we considered our opinions on two different important issues in our world. We had to think critically about our choice, just like we will in our real project. People felt it was useful because it gave them an idea of others' opinions and to consider their point of view. 

After this activity, we talked about what it means to be a community. As a group, we all came up with what we thought were the most important attributes of community. We shared our ideas and heard about other opinions too. Each group came up with an overall definition of what community means and everyone enjoyed learning about each other’s definitions.

After all this, we recently listened to a variety of "provocation" presentations. Provocation means to encourage thinking and conversation about our projects. These presentations were done by people who help the community in a variety of ways. We learned about what they do, where they do it, why they started their organization or why they joined it, and what kinds of habits of the heart and mind they use every day. We listened to presentations on Google Meet by:

  • Graham Beer, CEO of Cobourg Media
  • David Sheffield, from the Green Wood Coalition 
  • Helen Donovon, from the FareShare Food Bank 
  • Beth Kolisnyk, from Northumberland Food For Thought
  • Student leaders of the TCS Black Student Alliance in the Senior School
  • Jennifer Reid, who helps out with Kids Help Phone
  • Rose Wilton, who started the Rose Quest here in Port Hope and Cobourg

Some student inspirations:

  • Grace Mayer: “Graham Beer was inspiring to me because he was very young when he started his journey of wanting to help his community. He continued to help until he was old enough to take his own action, when he started the media company.”
  • Hibah Tahir: “David Sheffield was inspiring to me because he showed me to have compassion for those who aren’t as fortunate as us. We often walk past the poor people on the streets, but David Sheffield actually took three steps further and created a whole organization that helps others.”
  • Kennedy Belfon: “Helen Donovon was inspiring to me because she thought of a way to provide food to others who need it. It’s not limited to homeless people, so I thought that was very kind of her and her whole organization.”
  • Laiken Jakic: “Rose Wilton was inspiring to me because she makes up hygiene packages for people in need. I thought it was very kind of her to pass out these packages to people in all types of situations.” 

While listening to all these phenomenal presentations, we recorded our thoughts and different aspects of the presentations in our process journals where we will be documenting and reflecting on our entire project.

We are looking forward to moving ahead with our projects and planning how we are going to make our own communities a better place.

- By Hibah Tahir and Grace Mayer, Grade 8 students