What Does it Take to Create Change?

Fifth graders have launched into their first novel — Amal Unbound — with an emphasis on exploring what it takes to create change.

The book is dedicated to Malala Yousafzai and features a strong female protagonist in modern Pakistan. The students were asked two essential questions at the start of the novel: What do you think it takes to create change? and What is the change you want in the world?
Working in a 10-minute window for a "quick write", the students were given the opportunity to share their writing with the class. A fifth grader’s hand shot up to share her reflections on What is the change you want to be in the world?

Let human rights be equal rights
Let honesty and trust lead us
Let love and beauty prosper
Let us stand in the face of fear
We can have faith that you will do just as well as me
We can have faith that you will be there, waiting for us to come home
We can come together to fight injustice
We can breathe the same air, and live on the same planet
We can hope for the same outcomes
We can live in peace

In teacher Kelly Hoy’s mind, there is nothing better than hearing these kinds of inspiring words from her students. “One way I have been energized in these challenging times is to encourage our students to write, write, write...and keep telling their stories. I think a silver lining of the pandemic is that we are forced to really listen to each other and hear different voices and perspectives.”
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.


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7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
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