14 Dec 2010

TEDxKIDS @SMU – the results are in!

Events, Ideas, News No Comments

The results of TEDxKIDS @SMU 2010 continue to amaze and inspire us. At the conference, we saw 300 middle school students learning about evolution courtesy of a Canadian rapper, believing in the impossible through the EyeWriter, supporting peers who spoke about micro-lending, politics, poetry. The energy in the room was infectious, even catching Mayor Tom Leppert and DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa in the excitement.

The actions of students inspired by TEDxKIDS @SMU have been overwhelming and humbling. In exchange for free admission to TEDxKIDS @SMU, student attendees were required to complete a service project. Through projects at SMU, at school, and with local nonprofits, students who attended TEDxKIDS @SMU have contributed more than 700 service hours to the community.

Sixty-seven students gathered at SMU to participate in service projects on November 20, TEDxYouth Day. Brought together in a common goal of helping other kids, students from schools across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex worked side by side, creating:

  • 25 care packages for young patients at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas
  • 14 decorated gardening pots for the Jubilee Park & Community Center
  • 20 mala bracelets to raise funds to benefit children in India
  • 30 “care cards” providing words of encouragement to fellow students

We hoped that by allowing students to design their own service projects, they could use the energy of TEDxKIDS @SMU to create projects that inspired them. We learned a very important lesson – never underestimate the power of giving kids the support and freedom to design and execute their own ideas. Our TEDxKIDS @SMU turned the small opportunity of designing something on their own and created projects far beyond our expectations. Their work, filled with kindnesses large and small, will impact hundreds of people, both locally and internationally.

Akiba Academy students designed a Chesed Fair at their school. Students organized several projects through the fair, including a bake sale and a bone marrow registry drive, teaching younger students about recycling, making infant blankets for Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center, creating books on tape for children, and making kosher meals for the Austin Street Centre.

Communities in Schools GEMS (Girls Exploring Math & Science) students will participate in a service learning project about water conservation and raise money for treating water-borne illness in Haiti.

Harold W. Lang Middle School students organized a food drive to benefit White Rock Center of Hope.

Holy Trinity Catholic School students are organizing a school-wide walk-a-thon in PE classes to raise money for an organization that targets child hunger in Dallas.

KIPP : TRUTH students made over 60 mala bracelets for the children’s charity Baal Dan. Each bracelet sold will provide three meals for a child in India.

North Hills Preparatory students conducted a week-long fundraiser for Falling Whistles and raised $1,000 for the organization.

The Oakridge School students are writing thank-you letters to veterans and organizing a special veterans’ luncheon at school.

St. John’s Episcopal School students were inspired by Will Watson’s talk about the Falling Whistles organization and have organized an event to raise awareness about the nonprofit’s work in the Congo.

Williams Preparatory middle school students created encouragement cards for their high school classmates taking the SAT. Included in their advice:

  • “Smile All the Way To college” (SAT) – what the test stands for!
  • I proudly support one of my own school’s Test Taking students. Go and Be the Best. Have a life… Have a Dream… Be the Dream

You can see more pictures from the Service Projects on our Flickr page.

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