Grades 6-12

Activity 1

“Sharing the Message”

One of the most effective ways of addressing the problem of poverty in America is through community education. Have your group organize their own educational campaign focusing on children in poverty in America today. The campaign materials could be displayed in the local schools, public libraries, or other community settings. Begin by having your group research the issue of child poverty in the United States using magazine and newspaper articles, the povertyusa.org website, and other resources to learn more about the plight of America’s poor.

Read the following radio script to the group:

“It’s not about the children who dream too much…or dare too much…or laugh or love or hope too much. It’s about the one out of every five children in America today who wants just enough. Just enough food to stop the hunger. Just enough medicine to make the sickness go away. Just enough shelter to be safe and warm. Just enough of a chance to succeed in school, at home, in life. Just enough…to let a kid be a kid. Because, right now in America, one out of every five children is living in a state of poverty. And that’s just one child too many. Poverty. For 40 million men, women and children across this abundant nation, it’s a daily struggle just to survive. Poverty. America’s forgotten state.”

Then have your group create their own posters, flyers or print advertisements to run in your group’s newsletter, the local school newspaper or a similar outlet. Or have your group create their own videotaped commercials to air over a local cable channel or their school’s audio-visual networks. Organize a “poverty fair” at a back-to-school night or group assembly. Invite family and friends and hold poster sessions of your group’s projects, providing an opportunity for your group members to talk about what they have learned, showcase their projects, and bring greater awareness about the problems of poverty to their own community.