Making an ImpACT – A day out in the community for Grade 11 CAS students

How much impact can you make in one day? This is the challenge we gave to IB CAS students in grade 11 in October. On ImpACT day, the students try to make the biggest possible positive impact on the local community that they can achieve in one day, with a little planning time and only a small budget. CAS students worked in small groups and got to choose their own little projects. This year, we saw students working with kindergarten children, elderly people in a retirement home, and people with disabilities in a care home. We also saw them involving the public in political discussions, talking to people about their worries and dreams, repairing bikes while handing out tea, give out little compliments, collecting ideas of what makes people happy, trade up a pencil to end up with a big bag of goods to donate to Tafel e.V. raise awareness for breast cancer month and collect donations for Haus Leben e.V., amongst many other ideas. Overall, it was an enjoyable and productive day that challenged the students in a new out-of-school context and got them out of their comfort zone. Their enthusiasm was impressive and contacts for future projects and collaborations were made.

Britta Rössner, CAS Co-ordinator

Please find here some impressions of our students:

For ImpACT day our group found a meaningful way to help our community. We assisted for a day in a residency for people with mental disabilities called “Wohnstätte Losinskiweg – SEB Leipzig”. Our goal was to brighten the day of the residents and give them an enjoyable and fun time. 

We arrived in the morning and were given a tour of the grounds. We looked at the different sections of the home. Next we split up into two groups and helped in different areas. One group spent time with a therapist, crafting lanterns with a small group of residents. They also assisted with washing dishes after lunch. The other group spent time in one section of the residency, entertaining the people with mental disabilities, helping set up lunch and wash up. Towards the end they carved pumpkins in anticipation of Halloween with the residents. 

Overall, the experience opened our eyes to the difficulties that come with having a mental disability, and the amazing people that dedicate so much of their time and effort to help them. At first we were unsure of how to behave and interact with the residents, but as the day progressed we gained confidence and became more and more comfortable. We all agree that we have learnt some important lessons and developed crucial skills thanks to ImpACT day. (Tina, Clara, Santiago, Fatima, Sara) G11

For ImpACT Day this year, our group went to the local retirement home called “Seniorenheim Plagwitz” and organized a Game Day with the residents. We wanted to give back to our community and not forget the older generations in our society. It was our goal for them to have a nice, fun day, where we don’t just get to play games, but also learn a lot from the Senioren themselves about their lives, experiences, and tips. We learned a lot about the Senioren and their lives, and also what the retirement home consists of. Our day was successful as we achieved our goal of giving back to the community and learning more about our society. In general, we had a great time and a lot of fun! (Guy, Nicolas, Hrushikesh and Landis, G11)

For ImpACT Day, our task was to get into groups of 4-5 people and create a project which should offer a solution to a problem that is either present on a local, national or global level. Our group decided to create a bike repair shop and set it up on Sachsenbrücke in the local Clara-Zetkin-Park. This repair shop offered people to oil their bike chains, pump air into their tires and re-adjust their handlebars. All of these services were offered for free, but with the offer of making a donation for the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), which works to protect human rights in Iran by researching, documenting and publicizing human rights violations across the country. We chose this organization in regards to recent events happening in Iran, which ended up with the death of Mahsha Amini. We managed to collect €71 worth of donations and had excellent success even though the weather was cold. Through our time spent outside, we had to think of strategies that would attract people to gain their attention. We had a lot of fun and would do this again. (Mika, Sami, Frederick, Roosevelt, and Julius, G11)

For ImpACT day we made bird-feeding balls out of seeds and pig’s fat. Because colder days were approaching, we wanted to provide the wildlife with food to survive the coming harsh winter. We raised money as well by selling them to people walking around the park. The money was donated to NaBu e.V. (Naturschutzbund), a local organization that protects nature and animals. We learned a lot about how to make bird balls, the importance of protecting our local birds, and lastly, that pig’s fat smells disgusting. Overall, I think our project was successful as we made 70 balls and collected funds. (Susanna, Lia, Hüma, Adelin and Elif, G11)

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