Share Your Thoughts: Help 7th Graders Become World Leaders

A member of the community is looking for input on what could be a very important and exciting project for a group of 7th graders in Illinois. Do you have suggestions for him? Are you interested in helping him start a program in the Naperville community? Take a look at his post and share your thoughts below. We know many of you are creative and can inspire others to take action in their communities.


My 7th Grade Leaders
10.16.07 — Jeff

Mr. President,
I am a 7th grade teacher in Naperville, IL, and I am looking for a way to get my students involved on a global scale. Whether it be finding a way to help schools in Iraq or donate to the impoverished in Latin America, I want to find something that will have an impact not only globally, but that is meaningful to my students as well. I would love for them to gain a perspective different from their current one. As Kofi Annan said, “We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” I would love any general adivce on how to begin such a project or specific details on organizations that we could lean on.

Thank you for all you've done for our country.


Hello Jeff, My nephew was

Hello Jeff,
My nephew was recently involved in a Canadian program called "Peace it Together"... more information can be reached at . Never stop trying to find new ways to make this planet work together. I wish you all lifes best on your endeavour. Hugs, Brenda Q

Dear Jeff, Love and acts of

Dear Jeff, Love and acts of true empathy are the only important reality that truely exists. Eternal in it's connection to god. Through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit flows into and around those who give of themselves to those in need.Giving is always exponentially more for the giver and is contagious.In scools today,in order to eliminate Bullying,one must teach the Universal Principle that we cannot ever build ourselves up or make ourselves feel better by tearing one another down.Let's all of us help each other to confront our fears constructively as you are doing in such an important innitiative...THANKYOU for CARING. GOD BLESS YOU!

Might I suggest making a

Might I suggest making a PSA, Public Service anouncement for deserving causes.

Jeff, Yours is a very


Yours is a very commendable idea. I would like to mention that schools in US do not expose children to the world outside of US. Children do not know what kind of conditions exist and how people live in other countries. This is very sad, infact from my experience I found many adults who do not know anything outside the US. I feel you should first introduce small sessions about different countries and their economic, cultural, health and living conditions and also the problems they face today using pictures, videos etc. You can then pick a topic with the help of children in the class and in fact can get suggestions from children as to what they can and want to do to help better the conditions for people in other countries. Children can come up with some of the simple and effective ways of helping and making a difference to the world. Once you get this momentum going you can link up with bigger organisations and see what can be done.

Nice site!

Nice site!

Rick: I came to Mr.

I came to Mr. Clinton's Website to find a way to be able to send my honor student, my little 11 year old to a special camp that is available for kids like him, designed to meet their abilities and needs. Knowing of his good heart and knowledge; but I found your website with also information that pertain us. For the past years,since he was born, my main concern has been helping poor people at the scale I was able to, unfortunately for the extremely high cost of shipping we have now a basement with lots of boxes ready to be shipped to Ecuador, but not enough money to do so. Last year I was able to know that some clothing and some toys that I sent where given to a woman with two little boys that I have never met and has given me the satisfaction and the push to keep my mind and my heart in place. With hope that you will also help on this I will be very thankful

During your process of

During your process of information gathering and choosing, you may want to get the ball rolling through a very interesting and moving project, the Oxfam America Hunger Banquet. We utilized this to begin the process of increasing awareness on our campus about general hunger and poverty issues in a very poinant way. It may be inspirational both to your students and their families to help inspire your search for the right project.

Also, Heifer International is a fabulous organization creating sustainable assistance around the world. They have some excellent educational experiences available right in our country (like their Global Villages, including a Michigan location) that could be the beginning and inspiration for something much larger.

Both of these groups can be found on the web - hope you can use these to start the ball rolling.

Jeff- I know of a school in

I know of a school in Columbus, Ohio that raises money every year for an orphanage in Rwanda and another organization in Peru.
Visit www.
and email or phone the director of the lower school there.
They should be able to help you there much!
Good luck

Have your students as a

Have your students as a collective group give to Mocha Club. It costs $7 a month that's ALL and it can benefit various projects in Africa and you get to choose which one. I contribute to support Sudan regrowth. There are also projects in Ghana. One supports Grace orphanage, there is also one that supports Calvary Youth Hostel in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. As a class you could decide which project, then determine how to raise funds like have a bake sale or something. You will get updates every month on the project you support. Another action you could take is sponsoring a child through World Vision or Compassion International you can choose what country, gender, etc. That will give the students an opportunity to communicate with the child, you recieve letters, pictures. You can write and send pictures as a group. What I really like is through Compassion International you get updates on how the child is doing in school, since you get their progress reports after each semester. Just something to consider!

Jeff, may I strongly suggest

Jeff, may I strongly suggest a fascinating international small loan site. The loans are to people in third world countries, who just need a bit to get things going for them. Check it out, it's at Their repayment record is amazing. I think it would abe a marvelous way to involve kids in a business loan that could change someone's life. You could do fund raisers, etc., for the loan amount. It's a practical lesson in the old give a man a fishing pole instead of a fish philosophy.


Dear Jeff I am from South

Dear Jeff
I am from South Africa and part of an organization that is world wide, namely Rotary. May i suggest that you contact your local rotary club to help you decide on which avenues to help your students get involved on a global scale. I assure you there are many enlightning projects happening round the world. Another way to find out what projects there are is to visit the website:, you will find that there are rotarians, rotaractors, and interactors world wide.
Hope this will bring you much enjoyement.
yours in rotary

Dear Jeff, We (LCCC SIFE)

Dear Jeff,

We (LCCC SIFE) have a project helping african girls stay in school. If your students would like to help other studends just like themselves then please contact me.

In africa most families cannot aford to send daughters to school just boys. Children here in amercia take their education for granted in africa girls are lucky if they are able to attend.

Our project can teach your students the importance of education on a global level and the impact educating girls has on the community and the world. We would be willing to work with you to make an educational impact upon your students. At the same time they will be helping students just like themselves get the education that they need to make it in the world.

Please contact me for more information

SIFE(Student in Free Enterprise)students help change the world!

Thank you,

Lorain County Community College SIFE team, Ohio



Operation: IDENTIFY
Step 2: SHIFT
Step 1: SING
Step 2: PLEDGE
Step 3: FLY

Operation: ASSEMBLE

Operation: PEACE

Operation: PROSPER
Phase I: FEED
Phase V: EARN


What a great project you are

What a great project you are embarking on... I thought you might be interested in the work of Greg Mortensen, whose group "the Central Asia Institute" has been building schools in rural Pakistan. Their program "Pennies for Peace" is a great way for elementary school children to have an impact on the lives of children halfway across the world. Check out their website for all the resources you need to get started! :)

Good luck with this or any other project you embark on! Your students are lucky to have you as their teacher...

Vancouver Canada

Hello Jeff, I am a teacher

Hello Jeff,
I am a teacher as well and would like to encourage you to turn to your students for the decision making process. You can facilitate a conversation among your students, identify their priorities, and identify action plans they can take in order to make a difference in their world. This will allow them to increase their investment in the issue that is chosen and may be a very surprising thing to you.

Good luck with your project and thank you for bringing this type of awareness to the classroom.

Best wishes,

Hi Jeff, We are nonprofit

Hi Jeff,
We are nonprofit organization based in NY.Our focusis to help better the quality of education for the children with disabilities around the world .Mainly sight & hearing impaired.We also work with in the orphanage.We have variety of opportunities available.If you need further information contact us.

Jeff-I just returned from

Jeff-I just returned from Colombia ,S.A ..I made contact with a relative of a person working in the jungles with the children who have been effected by the fighting there. The project entails educating them so they will not join in on the fighting. Let me know if you're interested.

Hi Jeff, War Child Canada

Hi Jeff,
War Child Canada has a fantastic resource called Get Loud - This site celebrates the contributions of musicians and youth activists who are building a better future, and aims to inform and inspire youth about global humanitarian issues. In this website there is a link on the right called Educator's Centre, where you can find excellent classroom resources including teacher's manuals, study guides, lesson plans, curriculum connections, etc. For more information, see or

Jeff, check out Young Heroes

Jeff, check out Young Heroes at We support families of AIDS orphans in Swaziland by linking them with sponsors such as school classes. Several schools are already involved.

Hi Jeff, Why not do

Hi Jeff,

Why not do something close to home? There are plenty of ways to get kids in Illinois involved in local social justice issues. This can provide a lot of exposure without the need to travel abroad and engage youth in a project they could potentially participate in indefinitely. Just an idea.


I would suggest it would be

I would suggest it would be on personal hygiene or the environment/going green & recycling, to helping others, including parents with chores. Any of these.

Ask them to do two good

Ask them to do two good deeds. One they can share with the class and one they can't tell anyone about. Maybe something like call a nonprofit in the area and thank someone for volunteering.

Hi Jeff Here in Australia

Hi Jeff
Here in Australia I've had some great responses from students who are given the control to follow ideas that they are interested in. The theory follows basic community development theory which starts with consultation: asking your "community" the students what they want/need to do or learn about (maybe confine it to within the theme of international aid or leave it wide open. you may be surprised). if they are struggling with this (though it is very empowering for them to be asked what do you feel you need/want to learn about) you can ask them what they think either the world, or a specific community somewhere needs. from here you all work together, with your role more as facilitator. let them do the research, make the contacts etc. if something doesnt work out, no matter there's plenty to learn from that too!

Have a look at for some great ideas and methods of involvement. Celebrate a lot, pass on your and your class' learnings to others, make it enjoyable and good luck!

Hi Jeff, First, let me

Hi Jeff, First, let me commend you on initiating such powerful endeavor. It's wonderful to know we still have passionate teachers in our country. If it's possible for your schools's administration to approve satelite correspondence between your students and another group of peers from another country, I think it would be interesting for these two group of peers to exchange community projects exercises. They could begin by discussing issues they feel are priority and have a direct impact on their lives in the communities in which they live. After discussing several factors, and developing a solid rationale for completing their projects. Each group will "switch" community projects! I feel this could be a very good learning experience, as well as, have first-hand experience in building a community outside their present world. And also, maybe in time, you could solicit corporate sponsorship to provide financial support for your students to visit their peer's community and vice versa.

Roikensha Hinton, President
To Cause To Learn Early Education Consulting

Please contact the teacher

Please contact the teacher below - His class put together a poetry book with all poems written by students comparing their everyday life with that of students in Africa, or Haiti. They also made a quilt, which was displayed in the community at various places - very thought provoking!
Frank Mcgowen teaches in Portland Oregon.

F Mason
Fran Mason wrote:
Frank - speaking of great ideas, did you take advantage of Anita Roddick's offer of Take It Personally? Chock full of good ideas and the book gives permission to "borrow" anything contained inside. It is divided into segments of environment, trade, labour, etc. Plus it is free except for postage in groups of 16. I invited the Body Shop to the fair trade event I organized at PCC, and used many a quote from Dame Anita Roddick (yes, she was given Dame status in England!). This is the book I learned about the "3 legged stool" philosophy (three legs are better than two) - or that there are only solutions, not problems! Also learned about the Zapatistas and Basmati Rice.

Frank McGowan wrote:

Yes, I think it would be great to have the quilt on display. It is still currently on display at Global Exchange. My only request is that you take a couple of photographs for me and give me information on your show.

We can contact each other in late August so that I can get it back. Also, if you have any great ideas for me please let me know. This coming year is the Year of the Mountain/culture year for our school.


The Room to Read program

The Room to Read program "Students Helping Students' would be a great opportunity for your students to learn and help at the same time. Congratulations on your efforts. There is nothing more important than educating the next generation to be well-informed, good, happy and productive citizens of the world. For information, visit

Please take a look at these

Please take a look at these great projects:
I think you can find inspiration and/or an opportunity for your 7th graders there, 'specially at
I'd btw love to see the seedsofpeace concept applied locally in segregated communities and neighbourhoods. In any case, raising children to become Global Citizens is the common agenda for these charities and they're both doing a great job!
/Linus Bille

Jeff, I have been working


I have been working with others on a variety of initiatives for the past five years which might be of interest to you. They start with the secular and local, and reach to the spiritual and international.

In the fall of 2002 a group of six Alamo Heights TX 6th grade public school students (who the previous spring had won the global championship of the team creative problem solving competition sponsored by Destination Imagination or "DI") decided to use their teamwork skills to serve others. Their first step was to brainstorm 30 ideas, solicited from friends, family, and teachers, and conceived by themselves. They concluded that the most effective thing they could do would be to tutor younger students.

They began by asking their teachers to help them become tutors of students at the elementary school where they had just graduated. After serving there for a year, they reached out to schools where literacy was a problem. They contacted four elementary schools with their offer to tutor bi-weekly on Friday afternoons after school, and each asked for 15 tutors. Overwhelmed, they invited their friends to join them in launching AHJS Tutor Outreach. Sixty middle school students responded.

The results were extraordinary, and subtle. Teachers at the schools where the students mentored reported changes in the culture among their students, especially an increased desire to learn throughout the week, so that the younger students could show their older friends how much they could do and were progressing. Also those tutored developed a desire to help others too, and become tutors themselves. Although the original 66 students are now in high school, the program continues at approximately the same size. Encouragement, enthusiasm, modeling, and teamwork are very powerful.

From before the tutor outreach movement began, there were discussions that it could prepare the tutors to reach out to other students 3 hours from here who until that year did not even have a school to attend. Parents of two of the tutors, motivated by faith, hope and love, helped fund the start of a para school in Acuna Mexico for only $5000 for several months. So many students showed up in the middle of the term that the next fall, Instituto Alfa y Omega was opened in Ciudad Acuna. A few of those tutors, with their younger siblings, all of whom barely spoke any Spanish, came down to A&O and taught the first music class the students had ever had, by teaching "Hot Cross Buns" which we crudely translated to "Caliente Cruz Pan!" and taught 45 children to play it on inexpensive battery operated keyboards, writing the notes on the board. The room became absolutely electric with joy as children who did not know that they had been created with the gift of music discovered they could play a song. This total visit lasted less than 3 hours.

The older sister of one of those students started a pen pal program with A&O that lasted 4 years.

This fall, some of the same Tutors, with some others, plan to return to spend the day learning together with the high school students of A&O. A&O now has 118 students in grades 7-11, and was recently recognized as one of the top ten schools in its area.

The colonia where A&O is located is only 25 minutes from Del Rio TX, which is reachable by jet service through Houston offered by Continental Airlines.

Three of the Tutor Outreach founders traveled this summer to the Dominican Republic, where they lived in a school building in a village on the Haitian border for a week. There they helped build latrines and led vacation bible school, with a team from their church. This group and their parents are also now planning how to start a Tutor program in that village next year so that older students there can help build a culture of learning and service that may transform their community. is the ministry which trains and takes such teams, and it partners with which trains leaders, and provides materials that can break cycles of doubt and liberate humanity from poverty.

Whichever direction your students may go Jeff, may their efforts be blessed.

If I can be of help, please do not hesitate to contact me through any of the organizations I have mentioned.

San Antonio TX

PS: Thank you Clinton Foundation for inspiring and fostering discussions like this.

I love that you are

I love that you are involving youth.I would start with first identifying what area you want to work within, such as poverty, climate change, etc.There are many volunter organizations listed on this site under opportunities to serve.Good Luck
Remember that any amount of giving is good.

Jeff, Research some of the

Jeff, Research some of the NGO/NPO's operating in developing countries, which work within the themes of your project. I am involved in a local group the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association whose major efforts are Health and Education of youth in Gambia, Africa. One recent project is sending young interns for a 2-3 month period, during which they develop plays and skits that are then performed in local villages focused on health and education issues. The results are tremendous, and the associated discussions some times go half way into the night. Then local programs are initiated based on the communities buy-in and resulting objectives from these presentations. It is youth from 2 different cultures developing really powerful initiatives.
Good Luck, and if you wish any further input I would be pleased to try and help. Cheers, Larry Bell.


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