Edmonton Public School Board
POW to Poverty! Grade 7 Students Foster Inclusion by Raising Awareness Around Poverty
A poster that was developed during the Pow to Poverty to highlight the scope of poverty as it impacts Edmontonian children
In November 2019, a class of 30 leadership students from McKernan School were planning an event to be hosted in January 2020 with their school, addressing poverty in Edmonton. They had not fully identified the impact the event would have, and as a result hadn’t fully planned the event. Focusing their efforts through frameworks related to community development was required.
To assist the class, ACGC facilitated a 45-minute session on ‘Results Based Management’ for children, starting with Problem and Solution Trees. This session presented the process for addressing community issues, considering their causes and effects, and using that to create their activities, outputs and outcomes to lead to the change they wanted to see. Historic examples of community solutions were presented, and students participated in an activity to develop a problem and solution tree for an issue impacting their own community.
The class applied the problem and solution tree framework to poverty in Edmonton. Their efforts highlighted a need to create more awareness around poverty, fostering human dignity and inclusion. On January 23, 2020, they hosted an assembly and workshops rooted in this intention, targeting 190 of their peers, entitled Pow to Poverty.
This event included multiple activities for students, highlighting different challenges faced by people experiencing poverty, allowing students to contribute to efforts of community organizations addressing poverty in Edmonton, and considering how people’s identities impact the effects poverty can have on their lives. Efforts in the event focused on discussing how LGBTQ+, visible minority, and Indigenous students experience poverty in different ways. The Pow to Poverty event focused on spreading awareness within Edmonton about different facets of poverty, and how someone’s identity impacts their relationship with it. The students took an approach to addressing this community problem focused on their own capacity, were able to gain a deeper understanding of this societal issue, and were further empowered to contribute to the work of promoting sustainable development.