Freshman Working to "Be the Change" in Charlotte
Providence Day School’s 9th-graders are taking an up-close and in-depth look at poverty in Charlotte again this year.
“Be the Change” is a yearlong service-learning program in which 9th-grade class study poverty in Mecklenburg County and obtain hands-on experience with different area organizations.
The intent of the program is not to “fix” the poverty problem, but to educate participants about the community’s needs, various ways in which they can become involved and to mold good community citizens. The program involves three service days over the year.
On the first, held Nov. 17, the students then participated in a poverty simulation on campus, in which they had to navigate the challenges of living in poverty — paying bills and rent, buying groceries, using public transportation, handling unexpected situations and medical emergencies, etc., all on a limited budget.
“The goal was to build empathy in our students as they began their Upper School journey,” said Jennifer Mann, AP Human Geography, Psychology and Global Issues teacher and freshman class assistant dean.
The students next went off campus to visit and perform service work at various nonprofits around Charlotte, such as the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte and Habitat for Humanity.
Two more service days are scheduled for Feb. 20 and April 6.
Part of PDS's mission is to instill in its students a sense of social responsibility. The goal is to encourage students to engage in activities that teach leadership, principles of service to the community and personal responsibility.
PDS helps students develop character dispositions such as empathy, patience, integrity, humility, open-mindedness, confidence and courage, so they can understand and act on local and global issues.
Learn more about Social Responsibility at PDS.