Our 5th graders had an inspirational discussion with award-winning veteran CNN reporter and anchor Michael Holmes yesterday. Mr. Holmes has been at CNN since 1996 and has reported extensively around the world, including multiple deployments to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the 2011 uprising in Libya. In 2004, he was on a CNN assignment in Iraq when the car he was traveling in got attacked, which cost the lives of two staff members. Mr. Holmes explained to the students (via Skype call) what inspired him to become a journalist and how reporting from conflict zones allows him to tell the story of ordinary people affected by the conflict.
This discussion was part of “Inspirational Week” with the common thread of taking action. The week included a Skype Talk with Barbara Goldberg, who started an organization called “Wells Bring Hope” after she heard a talk about the billions of people on Earth who do not have clean drinking water. The students also had discussions with a St. John’s parent who works for a bank and focuses on social consciousness, they watched TED talks on social movements and will have additional speakers coming in to inspire them ahead of their PYP Exhibition project. This project involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems. Students collectively synthesize all of the essential elements of the PYP in ways that can be shared with the whole school community on exhibition day in May.