International Day of the Girl

@mzshanksalot, a teacher and Computer Contact at Windsor Ontario’s Marlborough Public School can be very passionate about her personal beliefs.  This passion has spread to a group of young ladies who have created a video for the International Day of the Girl and shared it on YouTube.  The event caught the attention of the local newspaper and the story can be read here.

I love how technology has allowed these young ladies to share their voice on a very important issue.  In this case, they used PowToon.  It will be difficult to watch this video and not become emotional about their message.  How do YOU enable students to share their voice?

From YouTube, here’s a description about how the video was created.

A video about facts of girls around the world and the day for them. There are also quotes on what we should do and artistic pics representing education importance for girls…


6 thoughts on “International Day of the Girl

  1. Doug,
    Thanks so much for blogging about our students!! A bit of backstory here…

    We are a school of 360 students from full-day JSK to Grade 8. We are an inner city community, average parent income being $23,000 per annum. We are located in the West end of Windsor, on the edge of the homes boarded up by the Ambassador Bridge company, Attendance and hunger are daily issues.

    The Powtoon video was produced by 2 of our Intermediate girls, Emily and Shaima, mostly on their own. They took 403 photos: I know because I helped upload them into Dropbox!! They had a blank Bristol board, then added text in powtoon, cool site. The girls who met as a group at lunch wrote out what they wanted to put on their signs: some put research, others feelings. Then Emily (gr8) and Shaima (gr7) worked on it for 3 days, took my class school mini-iPad home to manipulate photos easier, as all 400 were on there.

    My geography classes were introduced to the issues, we looked at various websites, such as, “Because i’m a Girl”, talked about some shocking stats, and about how Canadian kids take education for granted. I asked them how they would react if tomorrow the girls and female teachers were told they no longer were allowed to come to school. I wondered if the girls would even be upset: many of them said, probably not at first.

    The 3 grade 7/8 classes were shown Malala’s UN speech, and then wrote TW-style responses. This continued in LIteracy with my homeroom 7/8s, which includes Shaima, with blogging on their Kidblogs.
    You can see our blogs at: And we Tweeted many of their responses on our class account, formerly @MzShanksalotGr6, now @Shanks78Crew.

    Grade 6 teacher Heidi Olivito initiated the conversation with myself and the Grade 5 teachers. She started the lunch club and continued book activities in her gr6 class, while Arlette Repko and Michelle Dereniowski did the same with the 5’s, including posters, and Alison Smith with the SERR. Ardeena, a grade 6 girl, wrote an original poem, Hands of Change. I transferred her live reading to an Audioboo at: My 7/8s, boys and girls, made a bulletin board centred by an “I am Malala” poster with print-outs of our Tweets. Mrs. Olivito’s students and the group also looked at various books, and wrote Main Idea cards for them, which we displayed in the library as part of the presentation. Mrs. Repko and Mrs. Dereniowski took the group’s design to make buttons and bookmarks at our teacher resource centre. Our principal planned a breakfast snack, and one of the moms made cupcakes.

    Amazing collaboration with my colleagues!! And such authentic learning for our students.

    The lunch group were disappointed that the Intl Day of the Girl was a PD day, and so they decided they would make a political statement and come to school: because they can. They approached our principal, Ron Brown, who agreed to let them start our PD meetings off.

    Between the vid, the poem and the topic, it was a very emotional morning, but in a good way! Our Superintendent, John Howitt, and our Chair of the Trustees, Helga Bailey, attended together with our Teacher Candidates and a bunch of parents: all Moms! Many of our staff were brought to tears by the poem and the video that they made, myself included. The Windsor Star retweeted my live tweets during the presentation and then called to follow up with an interview for Saturday’s paper.

    Mrs. Bailey has invited them to repeat the presentation at the Board office Tuesday night. Hopefully they can all can go, it is Eid al Adha.

    These are truly the moments of joy in teaching. When you see kids learning to care about the world around them and beyond them, and learning that they can do something to make change happen, starting with raising awareness…it fills you up inside.

    I will be interested to see where they go with this issue next: stay tuned!!
    Alison Shanks
    @mzallieosin (personal account)
    @Shanks78Crew (class account)


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