The outbreak of Covid-19 has brought about a level of global challenge unlike any war, catastrophic event or natural disaster the world has ever experienced. Across nations and races, the coronavirus has not discriminated against different groups of people, bringing great devastation to populations in country after country.
In tandem with that devastation are the effects of hunger and famine continuing unabated and highly disproportionate around the world. Families in regions already impacted by food deserts, conflict and poverty struggle more than ever to obtain any sort of sustainable food supply. How do we help our students understand how this is possible and how they might help? They are inheriting a new world of great need and deep compassion, these students of ours, even as they are aware of, and, for some, exist in the midst of ongoing famine, hunger and poverty. As they hopefully return to their school classrooms, virtual and in-person, how to best address best practices for learning and understanding became a primary focus. Our efforts led us to explore online sites whose scholarly and teacher-focused resources became a template for our efforts.
On behalf of Larry and Jane Levine of KIDS (KidsCanMakeADifference) and their unwavering commitment to iEARN’s Finding Solutions to Hunger project, it is our hope that these twenty lessons, added to the groundbreaking work inherent in the KIDS Teacher Guide, will expand teaching tools for a global understanding of hunger that has been the mission of KIDS for more than 25 years. We were able to explore the resources of a committed group of international organizations whose focus on classroom activities and outreach strengthened our inspiration and commitment. These organizations include the following:
Many thanks to Dana Herman, project intern and student ambassador from Vanderbilt University who spent many weeks gathering information, formatting options and researching best practices for teachers as they begin to teach once again within the confines of our Covid world.
It is impossible to isolate what has happened in our world in order to speak of hunger, how to learn about its history or how to prepare, somehow, to take action against its effects in the months to come. When we return to classrooms in the coming months, we will find ways for collaboration to work and for sharing to take place within the project forum and outside of it. We can do this together. For every gesture of outreach that we can create and share, this is how we help children grow up to care about the world, about its people and about one another. Maybe our true common ground isn’t established ground at all. Maybe it is in the ways we never lose sight of trying.
Hunger’s history is long. Hunger’s history is deep. Our children can change that, with our help as teachers. Whatever happens in terms of our schools hopefully opening in September, I hope you will find these helpful in your virtual as well as classroom practice. Teaching technologies are reshaping when, where, and from whom we learn as well as how we think about learning. As the boundaries of these learning worlds increasingly overlap, these new lessons on hopefully will support your efforts to teach in new ways when you begin again.