Belleville elementary school teacher teaches unity through video -

Belleville elementary school teacher teaches unity through video project

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BELLEVILLE, IL. ( – A teacher at Whiteside Elementary in Belleville decided to challenge her students’ understanding of tough social issues by creating a video project designed at teaching unity.

“At eight or nine years old, I thought I would be better to bring it back a little and look at the bigger picture,” said Erin Strinni. “They [students] shared a little bit about what they heard on the news with regards to St. Louis.”

Strinni wanted the young students to know their voice matters, so she asked the students a big question: “How do we strengthen our community?” The answer was in filming the students’ hands.

“They all wanted to know which hand was theirs,” Strinni said. “It’s to emphasize unity.”

After hearing about the project, many parents emailed Strinni, thanking her for the valuable life lesson she taught their children.

“I think that says a lot more than words,” said Principal Nathan Rakers. “[It’s about] how we treat each other.”

Strinni also wants parents to know that their children are always watching. She hopes adults will set the stage for next generation as the grow and begin raising their own voices in the community.

“If the students understand how to resolve a problem with somebody in the neighborhood a little better because of the project, then that means the lesson is working,” Strinni said. 

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