This spring, Propel East went without shoes for a day – for a good reason. Teacher Natalie Torti explains the larger meaning behind a seemingly simple action – and the impact it can have across the world.
One Day Without Shoes is a day of global awareness about poverty and sustainable giving that was created by TOMS shoes. The 7th and 8th grade students read selections from Blake Mycoskie’s book, Start Something That Matters, over winter break and were inspired by his amazing journey. The book details his incredible experience, which led him to start a “One for One” shoe company that donates a pair of shoes for each pair sold. After learning about TOMS, students were inspired to spread the message of giving to the rest of the school. They used time class time and their own free time to research, plan, and won an Innovation Grant to host the event!
Students worked tirelessly to make sure the event would be perfect: they set up stations to help the K-6 students learn through experience – truly an “everyone is a mentor, and everyone is mentored” moment. Each of our students pledged to go shoe-less for one hour to spread awareness. During the Day Without Shoes event, the students even hosted contests and awarded prizes for the most creative and innovative thinkers. One of the best parts of the day? They collected over 150 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls to be sent to Haiti.
That night, the 7th and 8th graders were able to celebrate their success during our One Day Without Shoes Dance-a-thon, which also raised money for Soles4Souls. Overall, the day and evening events were a HUGE success. The younger grades loved getting to meet and learn from the older students. The middle school students were amazed at how challenging and yet rewarding teaching can be.