It is official. I am an advocate for Spark Microgrants. What is that you might ask? I have signed up to help promote the organization and assist the organization in raising funds to provide microgrants to communities in Rwanda and Uganda.
I went back to school for my Masters degree because I was convinced I wanted to work in international development focusing specifically on education. After studying development, I felt frustrated by how development projects generally are planned and executed and did not see myself working for any of the large development agencies, without feeling like I sold my soul.
What I love about Spark Microgrants is that is the locally community that identifies the problem or the need that exists, it is the community that develops that plan and how it will be sustainable, and it is the community that implements the plan. These projects generally receive grants of $3,000 to $5,000.
So as an advocate by role is to promote the organization (of course I decided to start with my blog readers) and raise money as well. The project I've chosen to support is a school hygiene project in Rwanda. You can read more about it here.
To raise money for this school in Rwanda, I am recruiting my seventh graders. I've designed a project that allows them to work with this real world situation while learning about how to use fractions, decimals and percents in communication. They will be organizing, promoting, and tracking the progress of a school-wide competition between each class to raise money for the Rwandan school. They will conduct research about Spark Microgrants, about the school and community we are serving and about the important of school hygiene facilities. They will use this information to create messages that compel the other grades to donate money, hopefully through the use of data that they have collected. For example, 2.6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation that 40.9% of the world! They will also use pie charts and other data to inform the grades on their current standings in the population. This will be in conjunction with other classroom lessons on our current subject but I am SUUUUPER excited to be combining some of my personal interests with my teaching.
Stay tuned for updates, pictures, and opportunities for how you can help as well.
I am currently searching for interesting articles or data (that 7th graders can handle) to develop interesting and relevant practice exercises for my students. If you have ideas or links, send them by way: KatharineCottrell@glm.edu.co.