Monday, November 15, 2010

Taking Action - Making a Difference

As PYP educators it is one of our main goals to encourage students to take action as a result of their learning. When I see students taking action, I often wonder how many times I have had a chance to take action, maybe have an impact on someone's life, but didn't. I often feel I am one of those people who go through life with a head full of ideas, ideas that will always remain just that, ideas instead of becoming reality. It never seems the right time or the right place. I feel the idea is not planned enough, I don't have all of the skills I might need or the funds. I am pretty good in finding excuses stopping me from taking action.

Last week I was fortunate enough to meet a person I have been admiring from afar for a long time, a person who is one of my role models for taking action: Kathy Knowles. Kathy lived with her husband and children in Accra, Ghana, in the early 1990s. While living in Accra, Kathy provided opportunities to enjoy reading and books to the children in her neighborhood. At first she turned her garage into a small library. By the time she was leaving Ghana a few years later, the first community library was in place, i.e. the Kathy Knowles Community Library, Osu. Now, 17 years later, the Osu Children's Library Fund and the Osu Library Fund have been involved in the creation of more than 200 libraries in Ghana and other African countries.

In addition, Kathy started writing beautiful children's books. Last Friday, she launched her latest book at the Nima Maamobi Community Learning Centre: Kente for a King, a story originally written by the late Angela Christian. The launching was accompanied by drumming and dancing and an entertaining, yet thought-provoking production, of the Kathy Knowles Theatre Company. What touched me more than anything else was the way Kathy turned the launching into a celebration of all the people involved in the production of the book. Instead of auctioning of the first copies of her book as often seen during such events, she thanked her collaborators and presented them with copies of the book. It was wonderful seeing her interact with the community, realizing what a huge impact she has on the lives of so many. Her continued action taking is a true inspiration to me.
I hope you explore her website and share with me whose actions inspire YOU!

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