Better World Day
Friday, May 1, 2020
Every year on the first Friday in May, EL Education students, educators, and community members across the country celebrate Better World Day to shine a light on learning that contributes to a better world. We invite partner schools and districts to participate in Better World Day 2020 in a new way, by joining national teams taking on similar issues in their communities. By connecting with peers nationally, students and teachers will take more ownership than ever before, and harness their collective power to make a greater positive change in their school communities and beyond.
Join Better World Day 2020
Join hundreds of EL Education schools nationwide as they team up to contribute to a better world for Better World Day 2020. Choose a team that represents your school’s interests and sign up to benefit from virtual check-ins, shared plans, group activities, and an increased impact with your team.
Hunger, Housing, Homelessness Team
Environmental Stewardship Team
Building Inclusive, Equitable Communities Team
Looking Back at Better World Day 2019
Better World Day 2019 is a wrap, but the learning lives on. See highlights below from more than 120 schools across the country, involving tens of thousands of EL Education students and teachers as they took civic action to make the world a safer, stronger, and more just place locally and globally. The media also took notice -- check out highlights of media coverage that included more than 30 stories and counting!
Follow hashtag #BetterWorldDay here and across social media to see students in action in communities around the country. Share Better World Day moments to be featured here where students can see and celebrate each other.
From homeless outreach and advocacy in Bemidji, Minnesota, to trail maintenance in Kettle Falls, Washington, students at EL Education partner schools made their mark on the world on May 3—and throughout the school year. Below is a peek at the student-led events, representing just a handful of the 100+ activities that took place across the country.
Check out our Facebook page to see live streams from events throughout the day, or check the the social media feed below. Students and communities posted updates across all social media channels with hashtag #BetterWorldDay.
Brooklyn, NY: Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School
Middle school students work to end hunger in their community by planting at two Brooklyn farm sites, stocking a local food pantry, and creating packages for area children experiencing homelessness for the Campaign Against Hunger.
Detroit, MI: Detroit Public Schools Community District
Fifth-grade students at eight schools in the Detroit Community District are working to make literacy a civil right for their city. After studying The Universal Declaration of Human Rights through the EL Education K-5 Language Arts curriculum, they'll apply their knowledge to building and painting Little Free Libraries, hosting a book drive to stock them, and donating them to deserving local aid organizations.
Chicago, IL: Polaris Charter Academy
Students from kindergarten through 8th grade conduct research, engage partners, and complete community-improvement projects to address the abandoned properties and disinvestment surrounding their school.
Bend, OR: Realms High School
Tenth-graders advocate for humane and thoughtful treatment of the people living in a homeless encampment near their campus. Their "Power and Privilege" expedition culminates in students presenting a well-researched action plan to local agencies and to the community during an unveiling and donation drive.
Sturbridge, MA: Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School
Students lead a community-wide tree planting, starting on their own campus with a ceremony and celebration. Then, students spread out to other district communities to perform identical plantings throughout the region.
Muncie, IN: Inspire Academy
Students help clean up the polluted White River as part of an expedition titled "Sustaining Ecosystems," based on the EL Education Language Arts curriculum texts, "A World Without Fish" and "Flush."
Alpharetta, GA: Amana Academy
Younger students beautify community spaces by creating seed pods, bird feeders, and decorative planters; older students work to combat flooding at a local park and help build a tiny house for a local person in need.
Dorchester, MA: Codman Academy Charter Public School
Older students partner with local organizations to address hunger and homelessness in Boston, while younger students create pollinator gardens at six sites in nearby Codman Square.
Kettle Falls, WA: Kettle Falls High School
Students partner with the city of Kettle Falls, the National Park Service, and the Kettle Falls School District to complete service projects including trail maintenance, campground cleanup, and landscaping for the local library.
Kenosha, WI: Vernon Elementary
Elementary students help provide for local children in foster care by creating "Sweet Cases" filled with blankets, activities, and stuffed animals. Their collaboration with Together We Rise, a nonprofit for Foster Children, helps children going to new homes.
Bemidji, MN: Schoolcraft Learning Community
Students create first-aid kits for people experiencing homelessness as part of their expedition "How To Save a Life." This follows their study of CPR and first-aid training and research on how natural disasters and weather affects communities.
Check out all 100 student events that took place on Better World Day here.
More than 50,000 students, educators, and community members, and counting! These citizens are stepping up to serve their communities. With so many involved in one day of service, imagine the impact 1,000,000 EL students have had every day throughout 25 years of "getting smart to do good."
In the News
Better World Day caught fire this year! See highlights of 2019 media coverage from across the country:
- Escondido, CA -- Conway Elementary students took a variety of actions, including singing to seniors, distributing kindness door hangers, and cleaning up their neighborhood.
- Vallejo, CA -- Vallejo Charter School students placed kindness rocks in their neighborhood to inspire and connect their community.
- Durango, CO -- Park Elementary fourth graders developed women’s suffrage museum exhibits.
- Edgewater, CO -- Lumberg Elementary students developed built birdhouses, created pollinator gardens, and planted trees.
- Valdosta, GA -- Scintilla Charter Academy students spruced up their outdoor learning lab that includes two outdoor classrooms, gardens, a chicken coop, an orchard, and a frog pond.
- Bristol, IN --York Elementary students planted flowers and cleaned up their local mill and park.
- Portland, ME -- Students from Casco Bay High School, Presumpscot Elementary School, and King Middle School marched to call for solar panels in the city’s schools.
- Sturbridge, MA -- Old Sturbridge Academy students planted trees honoring the theme of their work: “What do we have in common?"
- Traverse City, MI -- Old Mission Peninsula School students cleaned up their local lighthouse and nearby beaches.
- Asheville, NC -- Franklin School of Innovation 8th graders taught Evergreen Community Charter School students about water quality.
- Columbus, OH --Graham Elementary and Middle School students spotlighted mental health issues, focusing on different forms of therapy at Ohio State University.
- Hillsboro, OR -- City View Charter School students cleaned up their local park.
- Kettle Falls, WA -- Kettle Falls Elementary, Middle and High School students banded together to tackle a variety of actions including cleaning beaches, fixing a baseball field, and painting park benches -- all documented in a special Better World Day section in their local paper.
- Huntington, WV -- Explorer Academy students beautified their local parks and sold lemonade to raise money for the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District.
- Kenosha, WI -- Harborside Academy and other Kenosha Unified School District schools beautified their local parks.