On December 12, 5th and 6th graders from Jingwan and Sunderland Elementary schools had an important gathering. The schools, from different hemispheres, adjusted their schedule, putting aside time differences to have a live discussion of important issues that people in the USA and South Korea are currently dealing with. The students began with a collaborative analysis of the causes and impacts of social issues. While researching ways to resolve the problems, they found out that those issues were actually related to their own daily lives and the people around them. After becoming aware of these not only local but also globally related problems, they decided to act upon them.
US students emphasized the importance of making good choices in everyday life and how that can impact everyone. A simple change in behavior, such as always turning off the lights when not in use makes a big difference in saving energy, according to them. Korean students highlighted the societal and economic matters involved in gender equality, health care, climate change, and others. Among several points addressed, they argued strongly why women’s wage is less than men’s in both countries. To campaign for change, students produced Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos.
After careful review of the counterpart school’s PSAs, each class exchanged feedback on their campaign messages. The following reflection from one of the US students shows how these young kids have become change makers and what society they will be able to create for their future.
“It was an awesome experience and we all learned a lot from your PSAs and presentations. We realize that we have choices in the present and future, that can make the world better or worse for all of us.”