Project Profile

Project Title:
realfriends at Hernewood Intermediate
School Name:
Hernewood Intermediate
School board / First Nations school jurisdiction:
Western School Board
Project Theme:
Grade Level:
Subject Areas:
Community Partners:
We are basing our project on Avon View High School realfriends initiative

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realfriends at Hernewood Intermediate

Our teacher attended a talk by Dr. Steven Van Zoost and was captivated by his enthusiasm and his work. Most remarkably he spoke about the student led project called “realfriends” that his grade 12 students initiated. He also explained the support he received from Imagineaction.
She brought the idea to our group of 10 students that meet every Tuesday after school. During our meetings we discuss options for social change, and participate in activities that promote leadership skills, healthy living and community involvement.
Our group watched the two short films about “realfriends” available on the Imagineaction website.
Our school, like most every other school in North America struggles with the same issues as Avon View High School, where “there are several social groups (cliques) that dominate the climate of the school” (Imagineaction Showcase, realfriends)
After viewing the project idea our group agreed to create a 4 phase approach based on the Avon View High School realfriends model. The 10 students will organize and facilitate a “series of social encounters” during lunch time.
Phase 1 • Facilitated Speed Friending (blind-folded to avoid judgment). Participants will be given a “realfriends” bracelet. This will allow them to recognize each other after the event. The bracelet will be colour-coded for future events
Phase 2 • Treasure hunt with students in teams based on the colour of their bracelets
Phase 3 • Exposure to social issue that resonates with students and creates a common awareness
Phase 4 • Organizing a Flashmob to heighten awareness

Update (June-18-12)

realfriends at Hernewood Intermediate, PE
Report April and May 2012

After receiving approval for the realfriends project, our group of 10 students met to discuss the steps needed to undertake the first phase. As stated in our proposal:

Phase 1 • Facilitated Speed Friending (blind-folded to avoid judgment). Participants will be given a “realfriends” bracelet. This will allow them to recognize each other after the event. The bracelet will be colour-coded for future events

Therefore, on Tuesday April 10th 2012, we discussed at length 20 of the best suited candidates for the first realfriends event. We had to keep in mind that we wanted a full spectrum of students. We considered, age, grade, gender as well as all of the stereotypes. It was a very interesting meeting. Once we came to consensus on the participants we sent out an email to all Hernewood staff, asking for feedback. We had some very pertinent feedback and made some changes accordingly.

The following Tuesday April 17th 2012, we broke out into small groups (2-3) and explored good “open ended” questions for the speed friending. Once each group zoned in on 10 good questions, we came back with the larger group. We read our questions aloud and got constructive criticism from our peers. We then came to consensus on the questions we would ask at the speed friending.

The questions asked were as follows:
• What’s your favourite food? Why?
• What’s your favourite animal Why?
• Do you think Ken and Barbie make a good couple? Why or why not?
• Do you think that we should be allowed cell phones in school? Why or why not?
• Do you think that we should wear uniforms at school? why or why not?
• Are you competitive? Why or why not?
• What’s your favourite TV show? Why ?
• What kind of music do you like? Favourite artist?
• Are you a dog or a cat person? Why?
• What’s your favourite pizza toppings?
• If you had the choice between a pineapple or a banana which would you pick? Why?
• If you were a natural disaster which would you be? Why?
• If you were on a deserted island what’s the first thing you would wish for?
• What’s your favourite story…fable…legend…book? Why?
• If you were an animal…which one would you be? Why?
• What do you want to do when your older?
• Where would you travel to if you could go anywhere on Earth?
• What do you like better ocean or mountains? Why?
• What are you looking forward to the most about summer? Why?

Update (June-29-12)

Phase 2 • Treasure hunt with students in teams based on the colour of their bracelets
Due to so many May activities, members of the team got together on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012, and discussed the factors of planning our next phase; the treasure hunt. Students were eager to get all their ideas and thoughts out, and were very excited to put the plan in motion.
The following are things we discussed at the meeting:
• Potential clues
• Size of teams/groups participating
• Names of students for the second phase
• Strategically placing students
• Prizes
The group decided on four clues;
1. “When you’re feeling down and wearing a frown, talk to this lady and all your worries will fadey!” – Clue hidden on a couch in our school guidance counselor’s office.
2. “Your next clue can be found under a seat where often, people speak.” – Clue hidden under a seat in our lecture theatre.
3. “Are you ready to have fun? Go to the large area where you run!” – Clue hidden in the school’s gymnasium.
4. And finally, “Tick Tock, time is frozen.” – The hardest and final clue, leading you to a clock above a freezer in the school cafeteria. Here, the winning team will open the freezer to find their prize- A giant freeze pop each.

The next day, we had all of the members of our team stay down in the lobby before homeroom, and called down all of the students participating in phase 2. We had one member of our team per group of five participants. We gave them their first clue, and let them begin.
Phase 2 went relatively well, there were some human errors and some mix ups we easily could have prevented, but we learned well from our mistakes and we definitely know better for the next time.
Things that worked well –
• Having a team member with each treasure hunt group.
• Groups working together to solve the clues
• Strategically placing outgoing students with more shy students
• Every student, winning or losing teams, got a prize.

Aspects of the phase we could have improved:
• Our prize freeze pops were not put in the freezer early enough and were not completely frozen
• One group had 2 absent participants
• 4 clues were thrown out by janitors
• We could have had a mini ice breaker before setting off for the treasure hunt. This could have enhanced better communication among the participants.

Update (June-19-13)

This year with our left over funding from 2012 we created a campaign to get the student body to focus on an issue greater then themselves. We spent quite a bit of time zoning in on a cause that would interest the students.

By April of 2013, we invited 2 local guest speakers who had just come back from a Habitat for Humanity project in Africa to speak to our grade 9 classes. The students were moved. And the 7F class was especially touched. Together, they came up with an awareness campaign and sold bracelets that said "Hernewood Helps". They also coordinated a school dance to raise extra funds. The students then re-invited the speakers to speak to all of our grade 7 and 8. During this time 7F presented all of the donations they had gathered to help with building a school in Zambia.