Monday, February 28, 2011

what's Jonathan been up to?

Jonathan hasn't appeared in these blog pages that much lately, so I thought I'd post a few cute pictures of him. Here is a happy shot from PEI this past summer, taken by our friend Ray Vos. Jonathan was actually a bit grumpy about the photo shoot, so I made him smile by singing one of his favourite songs: "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon & Garfunkel.

Here he is wearing a pair of sunglasses he made in school: they are in the shape of "100" because his class was celebrating the 100th day of school.

And here he is at home with his friend Paul Allison, who was at our house for a visit. Paul and his father Dave are Jonathan's small group leaders at Sunday School. They really care about Jonathan and have been a great source of support with him at church.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Choices for Change

Yesterday was a big day for Allison. Since the fall she has been preparing a project for what's called "Challenge for Change", an initiative that the three Challenge Program sites in our area (Kingston, Odessa, and Sydenham) all participate in. The project is designed to help students be world-changers. They can work alone or in groups; they choose an issue and then design a project around it. They can invent something, do a service project, create a film or piece of art or music or writing ... the possibilities are endless.

For this project Allison wrote a book. She enjoys choose-your-own-adventure novels in which the reader can choose from a variety of options and endings -- so she wrote her own novel called "Choices for Change: A Choose Your Own Adventure Book About Global Warming." It is about 40 pages long and has about 10 different endings, and it touches on issues like solar vs. wind power, littering, etc. It's an excellent piece of writing and really interesting. (One of the moms said to me, "It sounds like a kids' book, but it doesn't sound like it was written BY a kid.")

Yesterday all the Challenge students presented their projects at an all-day conference at Queen's. Parents could come for the last 2 hours of the day, so I went to see Allison's display as well as check out all the others. It was so interesting to see the wide variety of issues (water conservation, bullying, women in Afghanistan, child labour, seniors' rights, global rights for girls, soccer jerseys for kids in Africa, etc.) and the many different forms of projects.

Here's Allison proudly showing her book and display.