Seasons of Learning

For everything there is a season, a time.

Many hear this and think of rites of passage or periods of life. Being a child, growing into adulthood, establishing one’s own family, watching your children leave home, retiring. Each of these are periods, seasons of life. They are unique with their own trials and more importantly, joys. I would suggest that education has the same cadence, though. With my little ones, I am constantly fluctuating between several seasons all at once.

Infancy

It is incredible how much a child can absorb in this season of her life! The brain develops more in this period than it will at any other “season of life”. Watch a baby or young child light up as they are exposed to some new event or activity. The wonder that is clearly visible is amazing to many.

As a mother and my infant’s primary educator, I work to share experiences with her. Providing stimulating toys (we enjoy many from FatBrain and Hape Products – which can be purchases from our partner – Baby Cotton Bottoms) is a fun way for us to play and her to learn. Letting her sit outside to feel and experience all of the wonder of nature is also important. Lastly, we read constantly. We like to use ASL as we read and incorporate our signs into the book. If she eats the book, it’s okay – we just call it “early literacy”.

Elementary Years

During these years a child learns so many facts. Facts about history, math facts, science information and the list goes on. Watching a child discover what he or she is interested in and will become passionate about, leaves me in awe. Dr. Terrence R. Redding’s research on “The First Moment of Lasting Excitement” suggests that a child in these years often experiecnes a spark. Some topic ignites a passion about learning that lasts a lifetime. These children are destined to become life long learners. For me, it was history – genealogy in particular.

My grandmother was ana mateur genealogist, studying our family tree. I would sit with her as she told me about the research she had done and the people she had found who we were related it. The caused me to crave information about many periods of time and many parts of the world. I sitll have a love of history and think about most world events from a historical context.

For my son, his spark was dinosaurs. He will spend hours pouring over encyclopedias, watching documentaries and moving through the Natural History Museum. It is nothing for him to recall the name of any number of dinosaurs and provides him with pride when he recognizes them! This excitement can last him through these years and onto the more difficult adolescent season of life.

Adolescent Years

At this point, a child has already established a love of learning hopefully. He or she may enjoy learning about any number of topics. As a parent, I already see where the excitement is as it directs my adolescent’s personal objectives.

Learning, experiencing and understanding knowledge is so important as an adolescent develops because it assists in learning about who she is as an individual. As One Planet, One People, we each have an idea of who we are as individuals and we come together on Earth, our One Planet. Education becomes a choice as an adolescent. Something that schools, at least in the US, begin to recognize as they put more responsibility on the individual and less on the parent. As a mother, my responsibility lies in helping my child learn how to handle this responsibility. Without guidance, many would flounder as managers of their work.

By the time my adolescent graduates high school and enters college, the rewards will be abundant. If I was successful, she will be able to manage her time and activities effectively. At this point, she will have transitioned into adulthood and my role will have become that of a bystander in many respects.

Just like that summer fades into fall, a parent’s role as educator changes too.

What role are you in with your children today? Have you Joined the Voyage? GlobalLearnDay 2017 is this weekend!

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Why It Matters

Education is a human right.

 

No Way Out

Imagine being left in a box, a dark, sealed box with no means of escape.  You had just barely enough to keep you alive in way of oxygen and nourishment and that was it.  How long could you stay there?  How long would you want to stay there?

 

Lack of education and crippling poverty most often go hand in hand, they are wicked friends who hold so many captive throughout their lives.  Snatching opportunities to move beyond mere existence, the lack of resources for much of the world has keep generations in boxes of despair.

Education in History

Education is as old as time.  The process of passing skills on to the next generation, mentoring, apprenticing, inspiring discoveries is what makes us human.  Without education and the freedom to apply what is learned, our history would be very bleak.  Discoveries would not be made. Hypothesis would not be tested. Improvements would not be pursued. The edge of mere existence would be the fate of all.

 

The hallmark of a civilization is the accumulation and perpetuation of knowledge.  Civilized societies create languages, and a written system to record them.  Understanding of mathematics leads the way to an economy and commerce.  Our world has moved continually toward a deeper understanding and higher level of thinking, except for those who for socioeconomic reasons have been stripped of their rights to a civilized existence.

 

Education is not merely attending school, but being given the resources to move beyond surviving to thriving.  In the world of ultra-poverty, of complete devastation devoid of any resources, an education is an impossibility.

 

Opening the Trap

An opportunity to learn and grow not only enriches a life, but gives a person the means to live it.  The poorest of the poor do not only need more food, they need the know how to find and earn quality food.  More than their physical needs, their minds need to be fed to allow for thought, wonder, ingenuity, and reason.  Just as a body must be trained to perform athletically, a mind must be shaped and nurtured to perform on a higher academic plane.

 

Providing resources and opportunity for the world’s poor to be educated benefits the entire world as it is an investment in our collective future. That investment will pay off in dividends of cleaner environments, safer childhoods, healthier communities, problems solved, inventions created, conflicts settled, and stable families established.

 

Education of today’s children provides the means for them to provide sustenance, shelter, and stability to the children of tomorrow.  As One Planet, One People, it is paramount that we come together to build up cultures of learning through access to educational resources that build hope.

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Pinterest

Piquing Interest and Pinterest

Piquing Interest

Do you relish browsing the aisle of bookshops or libraries, discovering new books to read and picking up tidbits of information? Are you a lifelong learner, always pursuing a new adventure or skill?  Would you love to have the world of endless information at your fingertips? Pinterest may just be for you.

Pinterest, like much of the Internet, is a treasure trove of endless possibilities.  There are how to posts, videos, daily inspiration, self help advice, and more.  However, it is not just another encyclopedia online. Pinterest is also a personal organization system, allowing you to curate your finds and catalog new ideas.

 

Joining the Bandwagon

For these reasons and more, Global Learn Day has created a Pinterest account to share all our finds with our followers and allow you to learn something new today and everyday.  We currently have twenty boards teaming with resources.  These boards include Education Around the World, STEM, Literature, and Early Education.

 

Get Involved!

In addition, many of our boards, such as Lifelong Learning, are collaborative boards.  These group boards allow people of similar interests to connect. It also provides an opportunity for our followers to share their discoveries with the world. This means you can add to our boards!

 

Have you stumbled upon an amazing website for elearning?  Did you just see a post about scientific discovery that blew your mind? Did that last article you read make you think of Global Learn Day?  Now, you can share that with us and all of our fellow GLDers.

 

The following boards are collaborative and more will be added soon!

 

To become a contributor, simply comment on any pin on the respective board.  We will send you an invitation and welcome you into the Global Learn Day family of lovers of education.

 

Join us and come help build bridges as One Planet, One People journeying together in learning.

 

What would you like to see on our boards?  Have an idea? Comment below!

 

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MeetOurTeam

Meet the Crew – Kelsey

Hi! My name is Kelsey and I am from Ohio! I am very excited to be a part of Global Learn Day 2017! This is my first year being involved with this great program, and I can’t wait. I have always been a curious learner, meaning if I wondered why something was the way that it was I would go look it up and learn as much as I could about it. I also love to read and I find it fascinating how the authors can really draw you into their story and keep you on your toes until the end just by using words. The way that words can be used in so many different ways to teach something or share something is truly amazing.

At around the age of 14, I joined the golf team at my high school having never picked up a club in my life. This was a giant leap of faith for me but I was confident in my ability to learn a new skill. Turns out, after hours and hours of practice, I was actually pretty good at golf and went on to be the captain of my college golf team! This is just another example of how anyone can learn a new skill with a whole lot of patience and practice.

Here are a few fun facts about me!

What is your favorite thing to learn?

My favorite thing to learn is anything and everything about the human body. I just find it amazing how all the different body systems work together to keep us alive. It seems as if there is always more to learn and I think that is why I find it so intriguing. The study of science is pretty endless which is why I chose to major in Biology.

 

What is your current learning obsession?

My current learning obsession is probably building furniture! I love to take something that would ordinarily be tossed aside and make it into something beautiful to be used in my home and the homes of others. There is so much to learn when it comes to building furniture and there is always something new to be tried. I really enjoy reading up on different staining or painting techniques in order to create something new and unique each time. This is a skill that I have completely taught myself with the use of books and the Internet and I believe that is why it makes this skill so fulfilling.

 

How did you become a life long learner?/When did you realize you were a life long learner?

One interesting thing about my learning style is that I read and study up on EVERYTHING before I actually go and do it. So much so that I can teach someone how to do something without having ever done it myself! I think this is how I became a life long learner. There is something to be said about mastering a new skill and having confidence in your ability to complete a certain task or teach a new subject. I have always been a very creative person and while growing up I was always found reading or painting or building something. I was always looking for something new to learn and master and this is still how I am today.

 

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Arts are Important

What is STEM?

There is so much talk about STEM in education circles these days.

It is the buzzword of the decade.  But what is it?  STEM is simply an acronym for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  The sudden focus on STEM education derives from the arising need to compete in the global economy and be at the forefront of innovation.

The modern world is a rapidly changing place.

Technology is developing at record breaking speed. This is not only making what was once impossible commonplace, it is changing the way we live and look to the future.  A race to the top of new ideas and capabilities has become the hallmark of the tech industry.  So, the educational system has sought ways to supply capable individuals to this phenomenon. Hence, the creation and focus of STEM education.

 

Building A Modern School–Science over Here, Math Down the Hall

With the intense focus on STEM, schools have been building up their science and math programs in an effort to provide a better education. Science lab rooms are under construction, course catalogs overflow with new courses in Engineering, Chemistry, higher level Math, and technology applications.

 

The desire for more and more has turned the liberal arts approach to education upside down.  The requirements for graduation include more science and math courses than ever before.  A new wing of the education system, technology education, has spread beyond just typing or using software to teaching coding and digital citizenship.  Classes upon classes, room upon room, the push for an innovative education has remade the face of schooling around the world.

 

What About the Arts?

Science, Mathematics, anything technology related, these are all children need to know–right? Wrong, just as a bridge cannot stand without a foundation, innovation cannot happen without creativity.  The bedrock of every good education is the arts and humanities.

 

Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing–the four Language Arts–are every bit as critical to engineers as to journalists.  These are the skills that build up a culture and bind us together.  The first two are necessary for collaboration and cohesive team work.  The last two essential to learning and documenting discoveries.

Along with Language Arts, the Visual Arts of design and creativity bring the sciences to life.  Engineering innovates the materials and methods, but art supplies the inspiration and beauty to architecture.  Coding synthesizes the blueprint of an app but visual creativity make it appealing and user friendly. The arts and the sciences need each other.  Without the arts, sciences create a gray, garish world of sci-fi horror stories.  Without sciences, artistic pursuits never get off the page and into history.

 

Welcome to the Real World

Just as the arts are integral to scientific advancement, so is the integration of education.  STEM education was never meant to mean a few more lab rooms and a list of mathematics requirements.  Like eliminating arts, this is missing the overarching goal of the STEM approach.  By integrating the subjects together in real world applications, students are given the roots and wings to soar in the current climate of global, rapid, technology advancement.

The opportunity to learn these skill sets and disciplines is vital to a good education, but should not mean simply tacking on more.  In the world of innovation, working together with people of all disciplines, using the knowledge learned from all coursework is what fuels the advancements of tomorrow. One People, One Planet

How do you build a bridge?  With mutual respect, understanding, and firm foundations of education.

How can you bring the world of education together to lead to a brighter future?

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Put on a fun play today!

Shakespeare Learning Fun

Making Shakespeare Fun

Who Goes There?

The Old Bard of England is not just something to fill up an English Literature Curriculum, his rich language and complex plots provide ample meat for substantial higher order thinking. However, it is often difficult to hook someone, particularly children, and draw them into the magic. Shakespeare, fun? Surely, you jest! But alas, I do not.

Studies show that the study of literature and poetry exercise the brain, allowing for deeper thought processes. We all know that exercise is important, our brain, like a muscle, must be engaged to develop. Exposure of children to serious literary works leads to adults better able to analyze, sythethize, and interact. All of these skills are necessary for a successful career.

How Doth One Proceed?

Engaging children in Shakespeare is as simple as drawing them into the story and making it their own. One way of doing this is by a staged reading or performance of a Shakespearean play where the children not only play the parts but are charged with the technical production of the play as well.

The idea of a camp style Shakespeare experience, or Shakespeare Days, is the perfect set up for bringing children to the Global theatre in a way that will leave them wanting more. Here is brief guide to having your own Shakespeare Days experience in your classroom, with your homeschool group, or at
your home. This is the perfect activity for afterschool or school breaks.

1. Choose a play: With so many great works to choose from, this is not as easy as it sounds. The good news is that scripts are readily available. Student edition scripts are even available for free online.
2. Assign roles: Find someone for each part. Students can play more than one part if need be. Hand out scripts. Ask students to review and study their lines. There is no need to memorize the lines if you are short on time. The point is the exposure, not the performance.
3. Present the story: Gather together and read aloud an easy to understand version of your chosen play to the participants. There are several sources out there that condense plays and make them read like story books. As you read explain the twists and turns, allow the children to ask questions.
4. Create the props: Choose a selection of props for the students to create and use for their play. You do not need many, just enough to make it feel like they are really there. It is important to find time for arts and crafts so you “dress” your “stage”.
5. Have a few rehearsals: Take two to three classes/days to rehearse your play. Remember to plan out or block the movements of the actors so that the scenes progress smoothly. No need to get fancy, just run through it the best you can so that children get familiar with the language and scenes.
6. Include time for fun: All work and no play makes for boring days. Find something enjoyable for the children to do unrelated to the play, even just for a short time, once their practice ends each day.
7. Pull together costumes: Discuss how people dressed back in Shakespeare’s day. Have students make up costumes from what they have at home or can easily construct. It is more about getting into character than looking professional.
8. Invite your audience: Throngs of crowds are not needed here, perhaps just parents or the class next door. Allow the children to showcase what they have learned and accomplished.

Jubilation and Success, A Path to the Future

In the span of a week, or less depending on how long you have each day, the children who may have balked at having to sit and read a play independently have been transported back in time with the help of a little glue, paint, and extra effort. Learning by doing is learning that sticks.

Let’s all find ways to build bridges for our students not just to the future, but to the past, as well. Falling in love with learning leads to lifelong learners, which makes this world a better place.

How can you open the minds of your students and make them hungry for more?
A special thanks to Theresa Zappe for sharing her Shakespeare Days model with Global Learn Day.

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Outdoors

The Outdoor Revolution

Give Them More

There is a push in modern education for more.  More hours. More requirements. More technology. More studying. More subjects to cover. Just more!  How about more time outside?  This may seem counter to a modern, progressive education but it is a growing trend with established roots.

 

Time outdoors in all kinds of weather is not anything new.  Charlotte Mason, a famous educator from the turn of the twentieth century, advocated long hours outside exploring, playing, and experiencing nature. Her methods presented a gentler approach to education that also build a strong foundation.

 

In this high paced, cutting edge world, Ms. Mason’s techniques are gaining popularity and a fresh take.  Nature based education is nothing new but it is gaining momentum as we realize our children are deprived of the simple pleasures of the great outdoors there is actually a new disorder! Nature Deficit Disorder is a widespread problem with an easy cure, give kids more time outdoors.

 

Around the World

In Finland, where education is nearly the opposite of the rest of the world, children are given multiple recesses, play breaks outdoors in any weather–even the cold, Nordic winter.  Up to four outdoor times are planned each day for unstructured play.  This play does not take away from education, it is education for these children.

 

In an effort to return to nature, there is a new movement in Germany called Waldkingergarten or Forest School.  These schools are housed in the great forests of Germany.  Students are dropped off in the morning and picked up sometime in the afternoon.  They spend their entire days outside, even having meals together on the forest floor.

 

You may wonder what do these children learn from days of wandering the forest?  Well, recent studies have shown that “Forest Kindergarten children come well-prepared for school and that they are often ahead of their school mates physically, mentally and in their social behaviour.”

 

In the United States, a similar movement is occurring with Tinkergarten.  Bringing young children outdoors to experience and create, this program is building an education foundation built on curiosity and teamwork.

 

What Does All this Mean for Education?

As we forge ahead into the tech-savvy twenty-first century, we must be mindful of not cutting our children off from their roots in nature.  The importance of learning the latest innovation must never crowd out children’s need to be children.  Children play, wiggle, and wonder – that is their nature.  By creating space, time, and opportunity for young people to unplug, stretch their legs, and breath fresh air, we will not be wasting valuable time but investing in the health and well being of future generations.

As One Planet, One People, understanding, appreciating, and conserving the natural world serves everyone around the planet.  Providing the latest technology will change the face of education and teach something new. However, some things never change, and children were built to learn and explore, especially outdoors.  Play, laughter, and dreams are a language that unite us all.

 

Where are you exploring? What have you learned from these experiences?

Join us for our Global Learn Day 2017 Voyage!

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MeetOurTeam

Meet the Crew – Peter

Peter
Meet Peter!

My name is Peter. I currently live in West Palm Beach Florida. Some things I do for fun is go to the gym to lift weights, play football or basketball with the boys or go swimming. I prefer to be outdoors. I like to try new things so I will literally do anything that seems like it will turn out to be fun.

Why Global Learn Day?

The way I got involved in Global Learn Day was one day during one of the weekly office staff meeting at Online Training Institute the topic came up. The question “Who thinks this is something they would be interested in being a part of? ” was asked. It all sounded really interesting to me, so I volunteered to join the GLD team.

This event means the ability to learn about different parts of the world from the people who live there. It means that no matter where or when there is always the opportunity to learn something new!

Learning

My Dad is my learning inspiration. Throughout my life I’ve always watched my dad do his best to better himself. Not only did I learn materials I would need for school he also taught me how to be the man I am today. Since birth he has been raising me by himself. He always told me, “No one can take away your education from you.”  That was one of his ways to keep me focused and going down the right path in life.

I look everywhere to learn something new. Books, people, the Internet or sometimes even Social Media . There is really no limit to where you can look and learn something new.

I don’t really have one specific thing that I like to learn. I am a young person and I love to ask questions. Why? Because there is no such thing as a dumb question and if you never ask you will never know! Asking questions is another way of learning.

My favorite book is “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo.

 

Thanks Peter for sharing a bit about yourself!

What is your reason for Joining our Voyage? Have you joined our event on Facebook yet?

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You can Learn and have Fun!

Fun Ways to Learn Today

Remember to EXPECT

Most of us accept that it is important for all people to receive an education. It is what helps propel us forward as a species, the ability to learn and adapt – to innovate. That doesn’t mean that we are all inspired to learn. There are some who have no interest in education, even if it would benefit them when looking long term.

How do we inspire others to love learning?

Many would say that the answer is to help those being educated have FUN while they learn. Here are some ideas for you to embrace today!

  1. Experiment! Do you want to see a child light up? Tell them you are going to help them work through an experiment! My personal experience tells me that when I tie experiments in with Science projects children respond positively. Try engaging your learners with Snowflake Science and then use this experiment!
  2. X-Ray! Be transparent. Just as an X-ray gives you an image of the structure of the body, so too do we want to encourage a strong foundation, through explaining at an age appropriate level, but not being dishonest. We need to know about the world in ways that are appropriate for our age and development.
  3. Play! While sitting in a more traditional classroom is useful for learning, there are many who can’t sit still for seat work and regular activities. In these instances, play can be stimulating and educational! Recently, my family sat in a circle, laughing, as we learned how to sign “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See” by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. We were having fun, laughing when we couldn’t keep up and we each learned at least a dozen new signs! When my children began to be quizzed on states and capitals in school, we began playing a game to help them remember the important information. As we drive, we look for license plates that belong to states other than the one we are in. The first person to spy the plate calls out the state name. Then it is a race to see who remembers the capital first! My son is already ready for this section in school because we’ve been playing since his sister went through it. Play can help us learn facts and problem solving skills, and often, it doesn’t feel like we are learning!
  4. Explore! In the US we have National Parks all around us. We can explore and learn all at the same time. The fun of the exploration often masks the education that we are embracing. In Europe, there are castles, churches and museums every where one turns. In exploring our surroundings we are often blessed with an extraordinary educational opportunity. If you don’t have time to go and see something in person, consider going on a Virtual Field Trip.
  5. Create! Have you ever learned how to properly do something via trial and error? Creating a model car is an excellent way to engage in learning. Many people love using their hands, and when you create you are using additional parts of your brain and allowing yourself to look at the material in a new way.
  6. Technology! Incorporating technology is another way to have fun while learning. Yesterday’s flash cards are often today’s apps. Quizlet is used by students of all ages to help them remember information using flashcards, quizzes and even competitions with other classmates. There are plenty of apps available for Android and Apple devices that can help make learning fun.

Just because one is learning does not mean that one isn’t having fun. Fun and learning are not mutually exclusive and for many they are inclusive of each other. Embrace finding your path to learning fun through trial and error! Then, you will be building a bridge to your future.

 

Consider joining us on our voyage! GLD 2017 is less than two months away!

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Mary's Meals

Mary’s Meals

A Nickel’s Worth

What can you do with a nickel?  Could you change the future?  Could you build bridges?  Could you save lives and fuel dreams? You can if that nickel finds its way to a Mary’s Meals collection campaign.

 

Founded on the principle that food+school=hope, Mary’s Meals feeds over a million children each day and has revolutionized the war on hunger.  The concept is so easy, anyone, including young children, can make a difference.

 

How Mary’s Meals Works

In 2002, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals, was on a service trip to Malawi.  There he met a young boy named Edward.  Edward’s one life wish was to have enough to eat and go to school. Out of this request, the idea of Mary’s Meals was born.

 

Inspired by the words of Mother Teresa, “If you can’t feed one hundred children, just feed one.” Magnus set out to feed children one good meal a day at a place of education, thus feeding their bodies and minds.  Soon he was feeding 200 children a day in Malawi with 93% of all donations going directly to feeding children.

 

The simple porridge, Likuni Phala, is served in large plastic mugs to the children each day. The mugs are so prized that many children wear them on strings hung around their necks so as not to lose them.  This simple blend of ingredients is prepared in a dedicated kitchen built at the school by Mary’s Meals

 

All of the kitchens are staffed by local volunteers and supplied with local goods to create a simple, but highly nutritious porridge for the students of the school where the kitchen is housed. Using local sources keeps the cost of feeding down while investing in the community.  By coming to school, the children receive life saving food, and a life altering education.

 

The Little School with Big Dreams

In 2014, a small, Catholic school in New York embarked on a mission to build a Mary’s Meals kitchen in Malawi.  Inspired by the movie Child 31, the students held nickel drives and fundraisers.  In just four months, they raised the $11,500 to build a kitchen at Dzungwi school, Malawi but it didn’t stop there.

 

Mary’s Meals became such a part of the school’s culture that a Mary’s Meals club was born.

Throughout the year, the children meet dressed in their signature blue Mary’s Meals shirts to sort and count the money raised each month to feed keep the kitchen running.  As part of the club, students learn more about their sister school in Malawi, exchange letters, videos, and photos; and even learn to play the same games that entertain their faraway friends.

 

Last year, St. Stephen St Edwards School raised over $20,000 by collecting deposit cans and bottles, holding nickel drives, selling popcorn each Wednesday, selling giftware, and more.  Through their efforts, a second kitchen was adopted in Liberia that is now fully funded by the club.

Building Bridges One Nickel at a Time

The Mary’s Meals Club has built a bridge for children in a semi-rural town to learn and grow.  Their worldview has expanded, and their connection to others on the opposite side of the world has solidified.  The efforts of serving and understanding have benefited the children in the club as well as those they fundraise to feed. Likewise, the simple meals that are being provided in two countries thanks to this club are building bridges to the bright futures for the recipient children.

 

This is what One Planet, One People is all about.  Journeying together in hope and knowledge to a promising future.  Building a bridge isn’t hard.  Just start one brick at a time, one child at a time.  Inspiring youth to serve others and support global education is one of the greatest lessons we can offer.

 

St Stephen-St Edward school has not just found a hobby, it has discovered its mission.  It is currently one of the largest and longest running fundraising campaigns for Mary’s Meals in the world.  It all started with a simple idea, let’s help bring hope to a child in need.

 

How are you spreading the light of education to the world?  Be the spark that chases the dark. Help those most in need and build a bridge to a better world!

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