The following guest post is shared by Sanjli Gidwaney, the Country Coordinator for the incredible Design for Change USA organization! Sanjli first introduced readers to DFC in this 2010 guest post, and the organization continues to do incredible things to inspire creative social change – ThinkFun is thrilled to support them!
Children are not passive recipients of modern day pop culture and television overload, they are activators and change makers of their schools, communities and the world!
My name is Sanjli Gidwaney from Design for Change USA, a national school challenge engaging children in service learning projects with lasting benefit to their community. Design for Change USA (DFC) is part of a larger global movement involving millions of students and teachers from over 30+countries. We hope to empower students to address challenges which affect them directly by infecting them with the spirit of I CAN and tasking them with four simple steps:
- Feel anything that bothers you
- Imagine a way to make it better
- Do the act of change
- Share your story with the world
Last year, what started off as a small test pilot with a handful of students and educators, has now become a national campaign placing the USA at the forefront of service learning. This year, DFC received entries from coast to coast. Submissions ranged from buying basic necessities for children living in homeless shelters to sending letters of gratitude to United States Service Members. Teachers and students went above and beyond the call to action and we should all be very proud of their efforts.
The winning entry this year came from Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. Their project, The ONE LESS Campaign, is designed to create communal awareness about the consequences of not only the production but also the purchase of non-organic clothing.
In an attempt to pay it forward, the students at Lick-Wilmerding requested that the DFC team share their prize with the incredibly deserving children at the Vincent Academy, a new charter school serving a challenged community in Oakland. This is the truest representation of the spirit behind DFC. Here are some wonderful photos of the students at Vincent Academy enjoying their new brain games!
We’d like to thank ThinkFun, our wonderful sponsors for their generous donation of over $500 worth of ThinkFun games. We believe that children learn best when they’re having fun and who does it better than ThinkFun? It is the creative and team building skills learned through games such as Rush Hour and Chocolate Fix, which will enable students throughout the USA to brainstorm, create and execute on their plans to improve their schools and communities! Thank you for all your support and for believing in our mission.
DFC is a 100% volunteer run and we would not be where we are today without the support of passionate teachers and organizations who also believe that children are the drivers of change. If you are interested in finding out how you can get involved, please visit us at, www.designforchange.us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here is what you can do today:
- Spread the word about DFC by sharing the link with family and friends
- Sign up your school/organization
- Volunteer to lead a project at your child’s school/organization/sports team
By participating in Design for Change, you will be joining millions of students and educators around the world saying, yes I CAN.