Michelle Horst's Grade 1 and 2 classes from Charles R. Beaudoin Public School show that good citizens can start young. Michelle made an immediate difference in her classroom by asking her students, “how can they take responsibility at our age and be good citizens?” Students answered this question, among other 'big' questions on a regular basis through regular blog posts. The idea of using blogging as a way for students to express themselves was introduced to the school by Michelle.
The blog became a way for students to express their feelings, worries and thoughts on local and global issues of their choosing. It was the students who suggested, then persisted with ideas surrounding environmental citizenship. This led to a “Clean Up, Green Up” project with the Burlington Green Youth Network, which had an impact on the local community.
Through the use of technology (blogging and social media), Michelle and her students were able to connect with the rest of the world, and reflect on what it means to be a part of such a big and connected place. The exercise opened students' eyes and gave them a powerful tool, their voice. The Starfish Canada featured some of their posts on how they wanted to change the world, and they were quite inspirational.
After talking with Michelle, I grew to admire her passion for giving young people a voice. Through the blog, it was the students who became interested in the environment, then decided to do something about it. Michelle is providing an engaging and passionate way of encouraging students to be good stewards of the environment. It goes without saying that Michelle and her students are making a difference.