Students in Lower Merion High School’s Global Citizenship class recently traveled to Cradles to Crayons’ Giving Factory in Philadelphia as part of the course’s experiential learning component.
Through a student-centered approach, the Global Citizenship course - one of the newest curricular offerings at LMHS - helps students on the path to becoming forces for good as “global citizens” by combining traditional classroom learning with experiential service trips. In-depth exploration of social justice issues, including racial justice and equity; environmental sustainability; fighting poverty; gender equity and women’s empowerment; LGBTQ+ rights; income inequality; migration and the refugee crisis; and gun violence, helps students increase their intercultural competence and global awareness in both intellectual and real-world ways. Students are encouraged through instruction to celebrate diversity, develop empathy, spread kindness and combat the injustices that face marginalized groups throughout our society and the world.
Leading the course is longtime LMHS social studies teacher Tom Reed, who recently welcomed Emily Robinson from Cradles to Crayons to his classroom to speak with students about the effects of poverty on children and the specific needs of those facing such hardships throughout the region. Robinson also spoke to how Cradles to Crayons works to combat these issues by providing children from birth through preadolescence, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive, whether at home, at school or at play. At the end of the lesson, Robinson led students in a service project creating encouraging notes and cards that will later be distributed in donated bookbags, along with other school supplies, for 70,000 local students-in-need.
In response to their in-class coursework, the Global Citizenship students organized a winter clothing drive to support the Cradles to Crayons’ mission. At the end of the two-week drive, students gathered the hundreds of children’s jackets, gloves, mittens, hats and scarves they amassed, before boarding a bus and traveling to the Cradles to Crayons’ Giving Factory for some hands-on community service. Students spent the day sorting through donated bags of clothes to organize them into bins that identified the type of clothing, age and gender of the child, as well as creating cards with kind and encouraging words for the future recipients of these Cradles’ donations.
To learn more about Cradles to Crayons and how you can help, click here! To see a slideshow of images from the trip to The Giving Factory, click below!