We recently wrote a grant to take our entire school, a population of 750 people, to see the documentary film "He Named Me Malala". The film is about the life, so far, of Malala Yousafzai, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The documentary is a nice mix of her tragic shooting at the hands of the Taliban, her campaign for girls' education around globe and her normal teenage interactions with her family. All in all, it was a riveting film.
The kids were very excited. We had prepped them with some information about Malala and her accomplishments. When the theater went dark and the movie started, the kids fell silent. They watched as a girl, who was their age when she was shot, struggled for her life. They watched as she recovered and began to speak out anew for girls' education. They watched as she toured village schools and met with world leaders to advance her cause. They watched...all of it.
We intend that our program at school broadens the kids' horizons, features their learning outside the school walls and calls on them to make a difference in the world. Our 20% Time program gives the kids an opportunity to pursue learning about which they are passionate. We also ask that their project make some mark on the world around them. Knowing how our kids are and seeing the mark this film made on them, I think that many kids will consider social causes in their work going forward this year. Malala is making a huge difference in the world and we try to convince our kids that they can make a difference too. By the end of the year, nearly all of our kids have made an impact on the world.