Curriculum Update: Concepts of Community in Act Local

In the last quarter of 2019, all Skate and Create students were following the Act Local curriculum. This section of our creative education curriculum is designed to help children see themselves as changemakers within their communities. Lessons focus on small acts which can have a big impact, ways of interacting with others and understanding community. 

While the students are following the same broad curriculum, our educators tailor the lessons to make sure sessions are relevant in different locations. 

In Cambodia and Johannesburg, students learned about elections and voting. This is a way for children to start to build their understanding of democracy, citizenship and the qualities of good leaders. Students campaigned to become class leaders, who help Skateistan educators with aspects of lessons, such as warm ups, lining up outside the classroom, putting on safety gear and clearing up equipment. To become class leaders, they had to get the votes of their fellow students, and this led to some pretty energetic campaigning. Students came up with campaign posters and wrote down their campaign promises as a kind of manifesto. 

Students in Cambodia display their election posters

They then held debates to explore different policy ideas. This is very helpful in giving students confidence and helping to develop their public speaking skills. 

Educators then brought in ballot boxes and students learned how voting works. Successful class leaders not only had amazing posters, but had made important promises like showing new students around the Skate School and helping those less experienced with skate technique. 


Students in South Africa present their campaign promises

Meanwhile in Kabul, students followed a lesson plan called Island Paradise, which helped them to explore the meaning of society and human rights. Together, the students discussed what it takes to create a society where everyone feels safe and then they designed a set of laws which protect everyone. Once their island was ‘perfect’ the students warmed up (Kabul is chilly in winter!) by pretending to swim to get to the island.

Girls in Kabul are 'swimming' to Island Paradise!

Students in Mazar-e-Sharif have been focusing on the idea of community. They followed a lesson which helped them to define and understand community. Groups were given flipcharts and crayons and they drew their own ideas of what a community looks like. They also wrote down their ideas such as ‘shopping in the same spots, praying in the same mosque and helping each other.’ In the second lesson in this series, students began exploring their own role in their communities. This second lesson was called ‘Act of Kindness.’ Students each named someone who was kind and did something positive in the community and then considered how they, as children, could also act as positive role models and change makers.

“I learned how to be kind and how kind people impact a society.”

At Skateistan, we believe that educated children are empowered children. If you’d like to support more children to access creative education, consider making a donation today.


*Abdullah's name was changed in accordance with Skateistan's Child Protection Policy