Childhood hunger is a serious problem that can have devastating, long lasting effects on a child's ability to learn. This service learning program allows students to better understand the causes and effects of childhood hunger, brainstorm possible solutions and carry out service projects to support the meal program at our school in Haiti. As students reflect on what they’ve learned and accomplished, they will realize they have the power to make a difference.
The meals our students receive at school do so much more than just relieve their hunger pangs. Access to good nutrition is essential to our student's education...
Food Facts at The Power of Education Foundation School:
Good nutrition is essential to students' ability to grow, develop and learn
Breakfast and lunch is served to about 200 students and 15 teachers/staff each day. Almost 40,000 hot lunches will be served this school year alone!
For many students, the meals they get at school is the only food they have all day
Vitamins with iron are also distributed daily to reduce anemia rates and improve health
Classroom Lessons: There are numerous lessons available online, but here are some of our favorites:
Global Kids: Try this online simulation game, by Global Kids, to learn about the difficult choices that impoverished families in Haiti must make. It's a fun way for kids and adults to raise their level of awareness about the important global issues of extreme poverty. http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/ayiti-the-cost-of-life/
Earn real rice for children in need by playing a variety of educational games - www.freerice.com.
There are endless ways to support our meal program. Use one of the following activities (or come up with your own) to challenge your students, classmates, friends and family to get involved. Every 75¢ collected, feeds one of our students breakfast and lunch for a day.
Change Matters: Food for Thought Change Drive - Great project for student groups like Junior National Honor Society, Advisory/Student Councils, youth groups, clubs, classrooms, and entire schools. Change Drive Toolkit
Change Matters: Food for Thought Collection Cans for home
Give Up to Give Back Campaign - Pick one thing to give up (candy, ice cream, soda, vending machines, etc) for a day, week, month to raise funds for our meal program.
Special Day (hat day, crazy hair day, electronics day) where students pay $1 to participate
Host a pancake breakfast or spaghetti dinner
Design a t-shirt that raises awareness about hunger issues and sell them for a profit
Start a community garden. Sell the produce and donate proceeds
Food for Thought Wall of Fame - This can be done in conjunction with any other fundraising activity. For every $0.75 collected, students or classrooms can write their name on a small paper cutout (ideally designed by a student) and place on a designated wall in the school. (Think of when you make a donation to support a charity at a store checkout.) Continue to add to the wall throughout the week, month or year to show students how small acts can really add up over time.
Wrap it Up: Reflecting on the experience...
Throughout the service project and after its completion, students should reflect on what they've learned. Here are some guiding questions for reflection:
What went well and what would I do differently next time?
In what ways did our team work well together? Where could we have improved?
Did we reach our goals? What impact did our project have on others?
How did you grow as an individual during this service project?
What views, opinions or values, if any, have you changed or modified through this process?