4th Graders Learn How to Advocate for the Global Community

On March 17, the OES Fourth Grade hosted its first-ever Advocacy Symposium. Over the past two months, 4th graders have been learning about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While these goals were established for our global community, 4th graders have been digging into what they mean for us much closer to home: in the Portland metro area, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest. Through research and interviews with experts in their own goal’s field, 4th graders have worked hard to establish a foundation of empathetic understanding before taking a personal stance and advocating for change. In the three 4th grade classrooms and the 3rd Floor/Treehouse Commons, 4th graders strove to:

  • Provoke questions and feelings through a shared art as activism piece (art forms include stop motion animation, a mural, skits, and more)
  • Generate knowledge about specific issues taking shape in our region through individually created brochures (topics include fair labor practices for farmworkers, the Portland Street Response as an alternative to policing, and wildfires in Oregon in this era of climate change)
  • Inspire action through a shared advocacy project

The 2nd, 3rd and 5th grades were all invited to come visit the symposium, visit with their classmates, and connect with the topics. Other grades were also invited to come as space allowed. The excitement was palpable as the 4th graders shared the materials they had created, talked about their topics, and gave live performances. You can read about all of the projects and see videos of the skits on the 4th Grade Symposium website.