Teacher Feature #45 – Vision and Venture

I first “met” Laura Stockman on the Internet four years ago, when I serendipitously chanced upon her powerful 2007 blog post entitled “25 Days to Make a Difference”. With the help of her mother, who was a teacher, 10 year old  Laura posted a challenge. To honour her grandfather who had recently passed away from cancer, Laura decided she would save her December allowance, of one dollar a day, and donate it to a charity on Christmas.

Teacher Feature-45 Laura Stockman
Teacher Feature #45 – November, 2014 – Vance Havner

Laura used the power of social networking to challenge readers “to TRY to do something every single day during the holiday season to make a SMALL difference in his or her world.” Whoever made the most difference in December, could select the charity to which Laura would donate her $25.00 on Christmas night. Laura was surprised with the response and the number of readers who matched her donations during the Christmas season.

Laura’s initial challenge really resonated with me and so I wrote a blog post entitled “How to Make a Difference in December”. My colleague, Chris Harbeck,immediately adapted Laura’s idea and engaged his middle school students to donate 25 cents per day and issued a challenge to other teachers and students in his blog post entitled “Would your students donate $0.25 cents per day?” A few days later, Karl Fisch, a high school teacher in Colorado, read Chris’ post and challenged his students and staff with the post “A Quarter is More Than Just a Fraction”. In addition, Karl introduced us to Kiva.org, which in a non-profit organization that helps facilitate the lending of $25 micro-loans to alleviate poverty throughout the world.

I strongly believe in the metaphor that our actions are like a pebble tossed into a quiet pool of water. We have no idea how the ripples that we create will benefit others. Laura’s initial challenge, together with the power of connectivity through the Internet, demonstrate how one person can influence many.

In fact, it was through social networking that I learned of Laura’s new vision. After my most recent post, Laura sent me a thank you “tweet” in which she introduced me to her most recent endeavour shared through her blog entitled “25 x 25 Days to Make a Difference”. Laura wants to recreate her ripple effect by helping “twenty five local kids as they venture out to do good deeds this holiday season”. However, all students who participate in doing a good deed each day in December can qualify to recommend the charity to which Laura should donate her $100.00 on Christmas day.

Those students wishing to participate in Laura’s new “good deed a day in December” challenge are requested to share their good deed via either a picture on Instagram or Twitter or a blog post. Obviously the more good deeds that are documented and shared with Laura, the more chance you have of being able to recommend the Christmas charity recipient.

In closing, it is obvious that Laura Stockman has followed up her vision with a worthy venture. I encourage teachers and students to join in her Christmas activity and we’ll all step up the stairs together.

Take care & keep smiling 🙂

Larger Image: Brian Metcalfe’s Teacher Feature “photostream”

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4 Responses to Teacher Feature #45 – Vision and Venture

  1. Hi Mr. Metcalfe!
    Thank you so much for all of your support, it still amazes me that others are interested in my project, it’s actually very inspiring.
    I really appreciate that you shared this, I’m going to make sure that I include you as a participant and I’ll link back to you on my page. If you know of anyone else who is participating I’d love to check them out and add their links to my blog too 🙂

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Laura for the comment. You, indeed, have been the inspiration for many teachers and students to “make a difference” in December. Although at age 10, your focus was to “do a little thing that kids you age could typically do”, through the power of the Internet your initial idea resonated and blossomed in the hearts of many.

    Thank you so much for sharing your initial tribute to your grandpa with readers like me. Thanks as well to your Mom for facilitating and sharing your challenge through your passionate blog.

    I know I’m proud of you, and I’m sure your grandpa and family are as well.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

  3. Hi Mr. Metcalfe! I wanted to say thank you again for all of your support here and for still remembering me. It’s really fun being back online and a little older now. Plus, I’m really loving going into schools to help kids blog and brainstorm good deeds. I thought I posted a comment earlier, but I didn’t see it here, so I wanted to post again. I’m sorry if I’m cluttering up your comments, but I wanted to make sure you knew how much I appreciated your support. I hope you come see what other kids are doing here this year. They have some great ideas! https://25xtwentyfivedays.wordpress.com/kid-bloggers-making-a-difference/

  4. admin says:

    Hi Laura … I apologize for not acknowledging your comment earlier. I must admit that I have not been checking my blog on a daily basis and regret that you needed to comment more than once. As you realize now, any comments on my blog must first be moderated by me before they are displayed. However, I was delighted that you persevered and took the time to write about engaging 25 students to “make a difference” in December in your new blog “25 x 25 Days to Make a Difference”.

    Often people don’t realize just how effective they can be and to what degree they can influence others. As a former Educational Technology Consultant, I worked with teachers and students in the classroom. Sometimes you might come across a student or teacher, (we’ll call “Lee”), who has difficulty learning a new process. It certainly pays dividends to work with that individual student or teacher until they understand, because they have the power to influence many. I’ve often heard other friends and colleagues say … “If Lee can do it, anyone can do it”. In fact the “Lees” in this world carry much more weight to motivate others than the so-called experts.

    Thank you for your innovative passion and commitment. As a role model, you are challenging other “Lees”, to help them become “difference makers” and influence many through their actions and the power of the Internet.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂
    BTW I understand your respectful salutation … but I’m “Brian”. “Mr. Metcalfe” was my Dad.

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