As children return to school for the new academic year and the COVID-19 crisis continues, First Give, the social change school’s initiative, is leading the charge on providing the tools for students to work together for a better world. The new programme for 2020 will empower young people and ignite a spark of social conscience.
Alongside the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement has made young people more aware of social issues within their communities and First Give is paving the way for these students to make a change.
There are currently seven schools across Wales signed up for the 2020/2021 school year, these include:
- Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, Pontypool
- Y Pant School, Pontyclun
- Caldicot School, Caldicot
- Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Mountain Ash
- The John Frost School, Newport
- Ysgol Natngwyn, Tonypandy
- Bro Morgannwg, Barry
Through an eight lesson, fully resourced scheme of work, students learn about the issues in the community, research causes and how they can make a difference and are then encouraged to meet charities/movements and get involved in helping them. The programme finishes with the First Give Final, where social action projects and presentations are judged by a panel of judges and one class wins a First Give grant of £1,000 for their charity.
As we saw unprecedented interruptions to the last academic year, pupils also missed out on softer skill development and the nurturing element the classroom provides. First Give’s programme not only allows pupils to give back, but it brings a feeling of purpose, teamwork and collaborative skills, as well as public speaking experience and project planning. Transferrable skills for life such as leadership, empathy and improved self-esteem and belief in themselves are also results. Thanks to First Give, 93% of students say that they will or may get involved in more social action in the future.
“It’s more important than ever for pupils to feel like they have a voice and can make a change. First Give already has a number of schools involved; however, as we head into this academic year, it’s clear to see that schools can do more and we’re providing a platform to enable that to happen.” Says Louisa Searle, Director of First Give.
She continues: “while the pandemic and the humanity issues we’ve been facing have been challenging in so many ways, I am so excited to see what young people and their schools will achieve this academic year. I think that it is more important than ever that a programme like First Give exists.”
To find out more about First Give and the schools’ programme it offers, visit https://firstgive.co.uk/.