Since 1988, iEARN has asked all participants to address the question, “How will this project improve the quality of life on the planet?” This question is the glue that holds our network together, and it’s a question that guides us as we develop programs and share resources with like-minded partners around the world.
This March, iEARN-USA is excited to help lead a new alliance of leading hunger, poverty and global education organizations. Kids Can Make A Difference Director Larry Levine provides the rationale for the Finding Solutions to Poverty & Inequality Alliance:
This year marks the 19th year of the Kids Can Make A Difference (KIDS) program and the third year of our association with IEARN. Since its inception as a program of WhyHunger, KIDS has enjoyed steady growth and maturity. Upon becoming a program of iEARN, the reach of KIDS has grown both in the United States and worldwide through the Finding Solutions to Hunger Project.
We feel that the time has come for teachers and students to use the Finding Solutions To Hunger Teacher’s Guide as a launching pad into a wider association with the leading nonprofit hunger and poverty organizations. As the project is structured presently, teachers and students develop their own projects demonstrating what they have learned and putting that knowledge to work to help alleviate the scourge of hunger and poverty in their community and world. While we feel that the present approach is good, there is an enhancement that is beneficial for the students and educators involved in Finding Solutions To Hunger.
We understand the time restraints that teachers currently face and feel that having a ready-made menu of projects available to them is a logical next step for KIDS and Finding Solutions To Hunger.
We took our concept to six of the leading hunger and poverty organizations; Food Tank, Heifer International, Oxfam America, RESULTS Educational Fund, WhyHunger, and World Savvy and invited them to join us as founding members of this alliance. We are delighted that all of them enthusiastically embraced the initiative and now are an integral part of the project. Our plan is to enlarge the number of organizations participating in this alliance as we move forward.
Will this new alliance, “improve the quality of life on the planet?” The efforts of iEARN teachers like Maria Conte and Mary Brownell and Deanne McBeath’s classes give us confidence that it will. An update from Mary:
I have much to tell you, all good. We had our three days of workshops focused on Finding Solutions to Hunger project last week. They went very well, thanks to the basic structure of the lessons in the KIDS teacher’s guide and the ways in which they can be built on. One of the activities that I liked the best was breaking the girls into groups to read two of the articles from the winter newsletter of Kids Can Make A Difference. … We also watched part of “A Place At The Table,” mostly because of the segments located in Philadelphia … a powerful message for the students.
Finding Solutions to Hunger will be the main part of the focus in the workshop that Deanne and I will present in June to the Asia Society.
This coming Wednesday evening, there will be a showing of a film called, “Girls Rising” at my school. I was asked to have a display of our work in Global Partnerships … I want you to know, however, that once again, finding the root causes of hunger is at the core of this display and our work. We are also asking for matching grant funds to go along with those we are giving, from our egg business, to Kiva and Heifer. I am also having a big fish bowl to accept change to feed our hens. I am not above asking for anything if it is for widening the work of the kids and spreading knowledge.
iEARN has made a difference during its first 25 years. For the next 25, we’re committed to continuing to empower teachers and young people across the world to work together using new communications technologies to help technologies to help address global challenges such as hunger, poverty, and inequality. Please join us.