NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- EL Education, a leading K-12 nonprofit, announced an initiative spotlighting the power of students who are changing the world. Contributing to a better world is the norm at more than 150 EL Education public schools across the country, where academics are joined to character and service. This new initiative documents examples of these types of projects to be used as models for all schools. These model projects and hundreds more will be shared across the country on Friday, May 4, 2018: the first national EL Education Better World Day.
Created in celebration of EL Education's 25 years of transforming classrooms across the country, the Better World Project showcases 18 student projects that are making positive change in their communities and the world.
"Now more than ever, doing work that matters is important for students, their communities, and the nation. The Better World Project joins character and scholarship, spotlighting the work of students who are taking ownership of their learning and building bridges of understanding across differences," said Scott Hartl, President and CEO of EL Education.
Below are the 18 Better World Projects, chosen by a panel of students, teachers and school leaders. More detailed descriptions of the projects can be found on the EL Education Better World Project page.
Capital City Public Charter School, Washington, D.C.
Eleventh-graders host a student-led symposium—a city-wide Food Justice Youth Summit—bringing together over 200 students, educators, food-justice advocates, funders and policymakers to discuss research, solutions and policy.
Escondido Super Stewards: Protecting and Serving Our Local Watershed
Conway Elementary School, Escondido, CA
Fourth-grade students, working with scientists, professionals, and community members, explore the human impact on the fragile watershed in their community while finding solutions to the problems of this ecosystem.
Connecting with the Refugee Story: State History Through the Lens of Changing Communities and Human Rights, Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, Denver, CO
Fourth-grade students celebrate the courage and mission of young adult refugees in their city, interviewing them and sharing their stories with the community through an original film and illustrated book.
Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School, Hartford, CT
Second-grade students engage in a project to create a safe and accessible playground for their school community where they can play with their peers who have multiple disabilities.
Everybody Has A Story
Fox Creek Elementary, Highlands Ranch, CO
First-grade students explore the importance of relationships and stories as they exchange personal narratives with elder community members, creating artistic portraits of themselves and of their elder 'grandfriends' as gifts.
The Future of Energy: Senior Energy Documentary Film Project
Four Rivers Charter Public School
High school seniors create a professional-quality, feature length documentary on controversial local energy issues for public screening in a downtown movie theater to catalyze and enrich public dialogue.
Whose Renaissance Is It?
Genesee Community Charter School, Rochester, NY
Sixth-graders explore the tension between positive urban revitalization and the threat that gentrification can bring to diversity, culture and affordable living through writing, presentations, and public murals.
When Cultures Collide
Graham Elementary and Middle School, Columbus, OH
Seventh-grade students have courageous conversations with city council members, clergy, police, and citizens for positive and restorative dialogue in a city struggling with issues of race and police violence.
The Nourishment They Need
Grandview Elementary School, Charleston, West Virginia
Third-grade and fifth-grade students work together to combat hunger in their rural neighborhoods while helping families grow healthy food, lobbying their school district, and producing a useful community resource.
Community Faces - Humanizing the Immigrant Label
Interdistrict School for Arts And Communication, New London, CT
Sixth-grade students conduct interviews and tell the human story of local immigration in a published booklet to help address stereotypes associated with the label "immigrant" in the United States today.
Leaders High School, Brooklyn, NY
Tenth-grade students tackle difficult issues of race and identity by becoming professionally trained in de-escalation and responding to microaggressions, then lead conversations, offer training sessions and create written resources.
Lodestar Community Charter School, Oakland, CA
Sixth-grade students become journalists and printmakers as they celebrate the voices of Muslim and Arab members of their community, creating written, spoken, and artistic work that promotes religious tolerance.
The Senate Expedition: Lifting Justice Through Mathematics
Open World Learning Community, St. Paul, MN
Eighth-grade algebra students meet with State Representatives and Senators to lobby for positive change on compelling social issues, using their mathematical analyses as evidence for their arguments.
The Confluence Of Cultures
Palouse Prairie Charter School, Moscow, ID
Fourth-grade rural students explore cultural history and connection by collaborating with Nez Perce tribal youth to build a 24- foot cedar plank canoe and a traditional Nimi ́ipuu dugout canoe.
Waste Less, Nourish More
Rimrock Expeditionary Alternative Learning Middle School (REALMS), Bend, OR
Sixth-grade students establish a robust school garden and school-wide composting system and present their work to the school board so that it can be replicated in other district schools.
Challenges and Opportunities: The Role Cultural Diversity Has Played in Colorado History
Silverton Elementary School, Silverton, CO
Fourth and fifth-grade students travel across Colorado to experience people and places outside their small isolated community, connect with pen-pals, and create a "living history" exhibit for their local museum.
Tapestry Charter School, Buffalo, NY
Eleventh-grade students break down barriers across race and difference, creating a book of varied perspectives from their segregated city and hosting a block party to bring citizens together in celebration.
Youth and Philanthropy Initiative
Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, Manhattan, NYC
High school seniors investigate a range of social issues that adversely affect their urban community—drugs, poverty, homelessness, abuse— and award grants to the most deserving local organizations.
These projects and hundreds more will be featured during EL Education Better World Day on May 4, 2018 and on Models of Excellence: Center For Student Work modelsofexcellence.ELeducation.org, EL Education's free, open source online collection of high quality student work designed to provoke conversation, spark innovation, and help create a vision of what is possible in American classrooms.
About EL Education
EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) creates great public schools where they are needed most, inspiring teachers and students to achieve more than they thought possible. Created over 25 years ago through the collaboration of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound, EL Education's research-based approach challenges and empowers teachers and students. The model focuses on ensuring that all students master rigorous content, develop positive character, and produce high-quality work.
EL Education works with all kinds of public schools: district and charter, from pre-K through 12th grade, serving populations that reflect the diversity of our country. It creates powerful resources--including its open-access literacy curriculum--provides masterful coaching and professional development, and shares a portfolio of award-winning, educator-developed materials. One reason for its success: its work is informed by decades of learning in its national network of over 150 high-achieving public schools. For more information, visit www.ELeducation.org.
SOURCE EL Education