In the 2011-2012 school year, teachers Amy Potsou and Elizabeth Stickley worked with the fifth graders of North Glendale Elementary to participate in Youth Venture and RandomKid’s “The Big Return” event. Targeting middle school and high school students, North Glendale’s 5th graders, with the support of Amy and Elizabeth, guided their whole elementary school in supporting the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. After interviewing staff at the hospital, the 5th graders determined that the problem they would solve would be making St. Louis Children’s Hospital feel more like a home. To achieve this goal, the fifth graders led other classes at the school in empathy-based brainstorming on what they could do to make staying in the hospital feel more like spending a day, night, or prolonged period of time at home. They asked the other students to imagine themselves at home as well as the feelings they had at home, and then to imagine themselves at a hospital and the feelings they experience there. The fifth graders then collected ideas from the brainstorming session and raised money to fulfill those ideas.
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