Thanks to a Champions For Learning classroom grant, Anna Bowe, a 9th-12th grade teacher and the sponsor of the We Dine Together club at Lely High school, has been able to provide safe space for students to combat social isolation and bullying.
We Dine Together, a nationwide student-led organization, was founded on the belief that lasting relationships and impact happen over the dining table. By bringing students together around four key areas of resilience, acts of kindness, advocacy, and awareness a more inclusive environment is created while ensuring no one eats alone.
Mrs. Bowe requested a Champions For Learning classroom grant to fund “Dine, Decorate, and Enjoy”. Every Wednesday during lunch, Mrs. Bowe opened her classroom and gave students an opportunity to do craft projects while meeting others who likely would have eaten alone.
“Even students who tend to be withdrawn and do not easily socialize with others benefit from showing their skills, or learning skills from others, while engaging in hands-on activities,” said Mrs. Bowe. “Decorating brings joy to the eyes and to the soul, gives purpose, provides a sense of well-being, and bonds by watching and learning from each other.”
Champions For Learning’s grant allowed Mrs. Bowe to purchase canvas bags, T-shirts, markers, and wooden carvings for students to decorate. The time in Mrs. Bowe’s classroom gave students the opportunity to sit together, have conversations, meet new people, and encouraged them to bring their friends.
Mrs. Bowe shared, “It is refreshing to observe young people leave their cellphones on the side, and engage in conversations and jokes, acknowledging each other’s presence.”
This is not Mrs. Bowe’s only classroom grant from Champions For Learning. In 2022 the Friendship Garden at Lely High School was designed and built thanks to funding from Champions For Learning. Mrs. Bowe purchased mulch, potting soil, spray paint, bird seed, planter pots, and several plants for the garden. Student volunteers and members of We Dine Together help maintain the garden.
Champions For Learning is proud to serve as a catalyst for educational success by investing in Collier’s students and educators. Charitable gifts to Campions For Learning allow us to continue to fund these unique learning experiences for Collier County students. Applications for the 2023-24 school year will become available later this summer. Until then, you can view a list of last year’s funded classroom grants by clicking HERE.