Now in its fourth year, Envision Richmond seeks to foster collaboration, empathy, creativity and problem-solving techniques within students so that they are better equipped to improve the world around them.
In October, the entire 8th Grade spent time with 20 local nonprofits, including the ARC Center, Richmond Cycling Corps, Sitter & Barfoot Veteran's Center, Northstar Academy, Virginia War Memorial, Living with Sickle Cell RVA, Sportable and the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls. The students assessed their assigned organization’s needs and designed a project aimed at fulfilling that need.
As a continuation of the program, this spring the students havedelivered fresh fruits and vegetables to two homeless shelters, ate a meal and played games with individuals at the ARC Center, took a group of English as a Second Language students from Douglas Freeman High School bowling, helped plant greenery and spread mulch at Abner Clay Park, delivered two projectors and 13 dissection kits to Church Hill Academy, took a group of Northstar Academy students bowling, distributed entertainment items to military residents at a veteran’s center and delivered winter coats, hats and gloves to Ms. Dionne Bobo, founder of Living with Sickle Cell RVA, after collecting the apparel across school divisions.
Another group of students, who teamed with Sportable, an organization that works to transform the lives of people with disabilities through sports, stayed closer to home. They wanted to educate other Middle School students about the needs of these individuals. They invited Sportable’s volunteer coordinator, Cat Anthony, and Collegiate alum Richard Bagby ‘02, who broke his neck and is now a quadriplegic, to speak at an assembly.
“The second phase of Envision Richmond is important because it's a way for our students to give back to the people that they met in the fall and round out their last year in Middle School by demonstrating responsible citizenship,” said Laurie Shadowen, Middle School humanities teacher and Envision Richmond Coordinator. “It's another opportunity for our 8th Graders to practice essential 21st-century skills of collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving as they develop and implement a simple and meaningful outreach plan for those in our community.”