Learning About Ourselves and the World

The participants of the global collaborative project, Single Voices, Global Choices, have been immersed in a multitude of learning experiences focused on the many international days of recognition. October and November have offered rich experiences to learn about ourselves and others ranging from investigating our own mental health and wellness to understanding the issues faced by others around the world to celebrating the positive contributions of science to the transformative effects of kindness.

World Mental Health Day

October included World Mental Health Day and saw a variety of engaging activities including a guest speaker – Mike Armiger – who talked about mental health, stress, and self-care with Barbara Anna Zielonka’s class.

Maria Rita Pepe (@mrp_EFLteacher) created this great presentation, We All Have Mental Health.

Barbara Anna Zielonka’s students also learned about reframing as a tool to add to their life and health skills: “Today we have learnt about reframing-it helps us to use whatever life hands us as opportunities to be taken advantage of, rather than problems to be avoided. Breakdowns are transformed into challenges! #lifeskills #healthskills #reframing

Using Kahoot, students from Norway and Italy met for the first time for a fun game challenge:

“Playing Kahoot across national borders! Today Italian and Norwegian students have met for the first time! #wellnesswheel #globalprojects

And Branka Ranisavljevic’s student, Anja Sandic, created this presentation: Mental Health of Youth, using emaze.

Originally tweeted by Branka Ranisavljevic🍀🐘🐼 Climate Action Project (@ranisavljevicb) on October 22, 2020.

Understanding our mental health is an important part of maintaining our well-being. Looking outward to understanding the issues faced by others is equally important in our globally connected world and students spent lots of time doing just that.

International Day of the Girl

The world is home to more than 1.1 billion girls under age 18, who are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers the world has ever seen.

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 11, 2020.

Indigenous People’s Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October.

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 12, 2020.

Spirit Day

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 15, 2020.

Participants of the project learned that LGBTQ youth disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Each year, millions go purple for Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth in a united stand against bullying. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #GoPurple

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 15, 2020.

We wrapped up the month of October with World Food Day and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Both days highlight sustainable development goals #1 and #2: End poverty in all its forms and End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Along with the highlighted activities below, interested educators who want to address these two goals in their classrooms might consider using Dollar Street at https://www.gapminder.org/dollar-street/. Dollar Street allows people to see how others really live around the world. The creators visited 264 families in 50 countries and collected 30,000 photos. They sorted the homes by income looking at the things we all have in common – we all need to eat, sleep and pee – to show how we all have the same needs, but we can afford different solutions. Dollar Street really emphasizes how surprisingly similar everyday life is across cultures and countries for people on the same income level and is an eye-opener for everyone. Anna Rosling Rönnlund is a co-founder of Gapminder — the foundation which runs Dollar Street a foundation that she co-founded with Hans and Ola Rosling and her mission is to promote a fact-based Worldview that everyone can understand by providing the world with useful and meaningful data about the world. Learn more about Dollar Street with Anna Rosling Rönnlund in her TED Talk:

World Food Day

World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16 October in over 150 countries to create awareness and action for SDG2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #WorldFoodDay 2020 #WorldFoodDay

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 16, 2020.

Tatiana Popa’s class celebrated World Food Day in their eTwinning club. One of Tatiana’s students, Adam, also wrote a newspaper article for the Heritage Globe newspaper in Moldova. Well done, Adam!

“How’s your Friday, everyone? We are celebrating #WorldFoodDay today! My students at the #etwinning club discussed #SDGs &decided that the day refers to #SDG2 #nohunger. @UNDPMoldova @Worldfoodday_ #singlevoicesglobalchoices

“We celebrate #WorldFoodDay2020 in a variety of ways: my student Adam wrote an article for the Heritage Globe newspaper: https://sites.google.com/heritage.md/heritage-globe/food?authuser=0 &and I proudly gave an interview for this! @HIS_Moldova @EducationHis #SlovakEmbassy #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Tatiana Popa (@Tatianapopab) on October 16, 2020.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

17 October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on October 17, 2020.

The day was highlighted with an assembly and informative presentation in Tatania Popa’s school:

“Weekly gymnasium assembly on #SDG1 #nopoverty,thus marking the #WorldEradicationofPovertyDay @UNDPMoldova Oct 17. Many thanks to director Rob Ford for this important informative presentation! #singlevoicesglobalchoices #globaleducation #internationalschool @HIS_Moldova @UNMoldova

November ushered in further focus on building our awareness with the whole month dedicated to Transgender Awareness.

Transgender Awareness Month

Transgender Awareness Month—celebrated annually in November—is a crucial time to uplift the voices and experiences of the transgender and gender non-conforming (transgender/GNC) community through education and action. Visit Out and Equal who have curated a list of excellent resources and stories to support greater visibility and awareness of the transgender and gender non-conforming community this month and year-round. The message is clear: You belong here.

Logo of Out and Equal

Mental health and well-being resurfaced with National Stress Awareness Day, a timely topic that should be revisited often throughout this strange and trying year.

National Stress Awareness Day

National Stress Awareness Day provides people with an opportunity to think about our wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress. To maintain our wellbeing, we need to be able to recognise what's making us stressed to help us learn how to deal with it.

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 4, 2020.

Branka Ranisavljevic’s students created Public Service Announcement posters to spread the word about stress.

World Science Day for Peace & Development

World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #WorldScienceDay2020

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 10, 2020.

We all can probably agree that everyone needs a little more kindness in their life and World Kindness Day promoted kindness in abundance among our participants.

World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. This day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, has the purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.

Maria Rita Pepe kicked kindness off with a “live #eTwinning event on @MicrosoftTeams with our great partners from Poland. In spite of a few tech difficulties, we managed to share our posters and brainstorm ideas for #WorldKindnessDay #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Mαriα Rita Pepe (@mrp_EFLteacher) on November 13, 2020.

Tatiana Popa’s class had a videoconference “between @HIS_Moldova students & Mankaa School in Espoo, Finland to discuss #kindness & activities we do as a school to improve community, but also our students life in #COVID19 times! #singlevoicesglobalchoices @eTwinningEurope @EducationHis #globaleducation

World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6! #singlevoicesglobalchoices

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 19, 2020.

World Toilet Day afforded my students the opportunity to dig into some data from ArcGIS StoryMaps. We explored Indigenous Water Rights using this storymap and came to a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding clean water and sanitation in First Nations communities across Canada.

World Children’s Day

World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. #singlevoicesglobalchoices #worldchildrensday

Originally tweeted by Barbara Anna Zielonka (@bar_zie) on November 20, 2020.

Children’s Rights were the topic of the day in Tatiana Popa’s class:

“Happy #ChildrensDay2020! We discussed #ChildrensRights in #Moldova & #Finland with our partner school in Finland today! Interesting findings! #singlevoicesglobalchoices #chattingfriends @eTwinningEurope @EtwinningM @HIS_Moldova @EducationHis #AnttiPiiroinen Thank You! @UNICEF

It’s been a busy couple of months with a lot of connections and learning by all – it’s great to think that there is so much more in store with the Single Voices, Global Voices project ongoing until April 2021.

There’s still time to join in the experience, you can find more information about out project here: Single Voices Global Choices and register here: Join Us.

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