Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kiva Clubs - The Path to Global Awareness and Citizenship

A few months ago, I had the very great pleasure to spend a few hours listening to Bill Ferriter (the Tempered Radical) share his experiences with using Kiva as an instructional tool for his classroom.  Kiva is non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating poverty through microfinancing - loans are made in $25 amounts.  Their motto is Empowering people around the world with a $25 loan.  As students research loan recipients, they investigate social and global issues such as poverty and third world countries,  geography, financing, loan repayments and make informed choices about who to lend their money to.  The activities tie into the Global Citizen learning objectives and are cross-curricular - Social Studies, Math (look at financing, loan repayments, percentages, probability), Language Arts (reports, persuasive writing)  and Fine Arts (advertise your club through a media project).  Bill is justifiably very proud of the work done by his Salem Kiva Club and has documented and shared their work.  It is worth exploring the resources he has posted - they include a loan rubric, student videos and mini lessons.  Using his ideas means students participate in meaningful, inquiry-based learning.  I can attest that this was one of the most effective Social Studies units I have taught.

My students initially chose to make a loan to Merlinda, Adelyn, Linda Carolina and Julius.  As the loans have been repaid, they were able to help choose another recipient and helped Alfredo buy supplies for his farm. 

I know from tweets I have read off the #sd36learn hash tag, that many teachers in my district have been inspired by his work.  If you want to support Kiva and the Creekside Kiva Club or get more information on the Kiva organization visit their site.  And tell them that the Creekside Kiva Club invited you.