ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Picture someone who can change the world.
You’re probably not envisioning a bunch of tired thirteen year old students, right?
Well, don’t sleep on the middle school students at Orchard Farm in St. Charles, because they’re already doing big things.
Maybe it’s collecting hundreds of blankets for kids with cancer, or buying dozens of bags of necessities for women with no place to go: the school’s “change makers” class can make it happen.
“It’s really up to them as far as what they pick what they decide to do,” said teacher Kris Liesmann. He says he crafted the curriculum for the class based on another school with something similar. Students research an issue in the community, then work with local groups to help.
“It can make your life way better and if i can teach you a lesson even with little things,” said Ariana Rao, who’s in the class for another semester after her project helping Almost Home inspired her to want to do more.
“It teaches them the process of looking at a problem and figuring out how to solve it,” said Liesmann.
“It was a really fun class,” agreed Jenna Overstreet. Last semester, she decided help the group Friends of Kids with Cancer when she lost her own friend to cancer.
“Her mom recommended this organization with me, just because they’re a good organization and I wanted to help give back to the community and do something in memory of her.”
She wanted to stock area hospitals with something to make kids feel better during their stay.
“So we collected blankets, so that way they could basically, anybody can pick them out, a teen or a kid could come pick out a blanket so hopefully that will help them,” she said.
The class has a lot more world to change, it’s only their second semester.
“The great thing about working with middle schoolers is that they surprise you all the time with what they’re capable of because they don’t even know what they’re capable of sometimes,” said Liesmann.
Even though most of us could never take a class like this, Overstreet encourages everyone to raise their hands, too.
“You can do anything one little act and it can change the world.”