Start by Learning Hard
"As citizens of the world, we owe duty and obligation to foster unity and peace across the globe. Like former President Dr. Kwame Mkrumah, we will also do good things for the world to remember one day. We will start by learning hard."
- An Active Citizenship Manifesto by P4A Students, EP Primary Ho-Bankoe -
Jon-Erik Montgomery's and Eileen Stone's 4th and 5th Grade students from Cliff Valley School created illustrations based on the theme of citizenship. Many students asked themselves what it means to be a citizen of the world, while others contemplated how the things they love can bring people from around the world together. They used black sharpies, colored pencils, and magic markers to create art, which predominantly included a depiction of the world and/or drawings of different people from around the world. While we were impressed by the beauty and uniqueness of the drawings, we were even more inspired by the written explanations the students included. We saw personality, self-awareness, and wisdom in each and every statement.
Sofie D., for example, explained that “no matter how far apart different people of the world are, we can still connect and relate.” And, Owen M. almost seems to have built upon that idea when he reminded his friends in Ghana that “Drawing connects our two worlds.” In Ghana, as they received this individual works of art, they took turns practicing their English, and reading them aloud. So each students heard the messages from Cliff Valley, even if the individual piece of art didn't land on their desk to share. Of the P4 students from E.P. Primary, however, it is Ella Grace's contention that “You can pass friendship across the world” which speaks the absolute loudest.
We have picture after picture of students who are looking directly into the camera with a smile their face. We see bright eyes, wide open hearts, and a few thumbs up. We have also learned, from our team on the ground, that the 4th Grade students in Ghana even took it upon themselves to create their very own class manifesto. They applied what they knew about their country's founding President, Dr. Kwame Mkrumah, and decided that the first step in becoming an engaged and respected citizen of the world, is to start by learning hard.
We can see the hard work that has gone into all of the projects, on both continents, and we are so proud of the students for sharing their thoughts and feelings with such maturity. Your projects - and especially your words - are something which we will never forget.