Inside the Impact: Wheatley Elementary

Here’s an inside look at one of the We Day Ky 2018 Impact Stories:

Question: What do you get when you mix one classroom filled with three fifth grade classes, one creative writing teacher, and sixty different ideas on stopping violence in their community?                      

Answer: You get a chance to change the world through WE Day!

NyRee D. Clayton-Taylor is a fabulous creative writing teacher at Phillis Wheatley Elementary School and this year, she and her energetic students have certainly taken the We Day charge to be the “change” in their community.

Wheatley Elementary School is located in the heart of the California Neighborhood where many students are affected by the challenges of their community. Some may see these students as less capable because of their circumstance, but Ms. Clayton says they are absolutely not! Her students bring a host of knowledge, perspectives, and strength to her classroom every day. That’s why when her students were asked about their potential project for WE Day, they suggested stopping the violence in their community.

Violence is not always an easy topic to discuss with students, it can often bring up negative feelings. But Ms. Clayton knew that this WE Day challenge could serve as a real-life tool of empowerment for her students.

She began her first lesson just before the holiday break. Students from three classes came to her classroom and viewed the WE Day Impact Stories from the previous year to get some context of what other schools and students across Kentucky have worked on. The students were so eager to get started.

The students were then placed into groups to read a text about violence and identify the cause. The students were able to have deep conversations about the factors that lead to violence. These conversations kept the students engaged and they discussed the factors for more than an hour. This is when Ms. Clayton knew this was the right project for them to tackle.

The students were able to work together and find causes for violence and relate it back to their community for their local act of compassion. Stay tuned to the We Day Ky blog to follow along with Wheatley Elementary School’s journey to stop the violence in their community.

Don’t forget to join us at We Day Ky 2018 and watch Wheatley Elementary’s Impact Story!