Homelessness is not a simple subject to tackle, but some fifth graders at Brown International Academy in Denver seem to have a pretty good grip on the issue.
Since returning from Spring Break, they’ve been researching homelessness as part of their end of the year project. They visited shelters spoke to homeless liaisons, now they’re ready to spark change.
"We're doing this for the homeless,” said Dane Caldwell, a fifth grade student at Brown. “This is what the homeless has to face every day, in the hot blazing sun. Yeah, gotta suck it up, gotta do it."
Caldwell and some of his classmates are taking that passion to busy intersections in an effort to bring attention to the homeless issue in our community.
"We are putting facts on cardboard signs so people understand more about homeless people,” said Joe Perez, another student. "We're getting people to start actually caring about homeless people because when people usually see homeless people they usually look away since they don't have anything to give them they just look away.”
"They became very passionate and wanting to let people know that the homeless are humans and people, that they're kids they go to school with,” said Brown Elementary teacher Wendy Edwards.
Edwards says every year she has her students pick a social issue, research it and then make an action plan. It’s part of Brown’s international baccalaureate curriculum.
“We’re building students who are inquirers, who want to be knowledgeable about certain subjects, who are globally minded and who become caring individuals because of what they learn about our world and the people who live in it,” Edwards said. "When we do this kind of a project this is what you see is that human side of them and empathy and they take that on and hopefully walk to the next stage,” she said.
With hopefully a new outlook.
"It feel pretty good because I know people are looking because they're honking,” Caldwell said. "The homeless aren't stereotypes they're human."
Other students in Edwards' class are researching the environment, kill shelters and animal abuse.