Shhhhhhhhhh……..the secret is out!
Project Give Back manages to make an impact not only on our students, but their families as well. Over the years, many mothers have kindly shared their experiences with watching how the project has had a profound effect upon their child’s behaviour, attitude and learning. For some, it has been an eye-opening experience where the wonders of the world are first introduced. For other’s, the program has offered their children the opportunity to truly connect with what is most meaningful to them and at times become vulnerable.
Penny Tennen Goodman is one of those moms. Her children took part in the program and had two different yet enriching experiences. Both children chose the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in honour of a family friend. Penny’s son tackled the project in his confident way, yet her daughter had to overcome her extreme shyness. Penny was amazed to watch her daughter’s transformation and how she rose to the occasion, through the support of her teachers and the step by step process of the program. In fact, after witnessing her own children’s experience with the project, Penny was inspired to get involved with our program herself. She started by volunteering her time in whatever matter needed support and today she is currently working as our charity liaison!
Paula Rizcker has had three children go through the program, with each child choosing very distinct and personal charities. She recalled witnessing her son watch a video on his charity, Jays Care, which featured local communities in need. When her son recognized a neighborhood as one that was a mere fifteen minutes away from their own home, she saw how he was immediately transformed. This was both his and Paula’s “aha” moment; where the effects of Project Give Back hit home. Since then, Paula has proudly watched on as her children have continued to support their causes long after the program ended. In subsequent years, her children have gone on to donate money through various initiatives of their own: lemonade stands, garage sale proceeds, collecting their own money jars and participating in walkathons as a family. Paula has gone on to say that, “Out of anything that my children have done in school, this program has had the most lasting impact.”
And we couldn’t agree more. I, myself, a mother whose son was a PGB student, can recall that moment as I listened in with pride as he made his first phone call – ever! A monumental task that took much coaxing, yet ended in watching him feel that true sense of accomplishment. Then, witnessing the look upon his face when the information package arrived at the door. For the first time in his life, I could see that sense of ownership, that he made this happen!! It was a joy to watch as he came into his own through this experience.
So, while it is our children’s projects, as mothers, we can all appreciate and share in the experience that they must endure to teach the lessons that they do. These are life lessons which have long lasting appeal and that we wish to instill in them as they grow into young responsible citizens.