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Better World Day

Better World Day

Better World Day is an annual, national event showcasing student learning that contributes to a better world.

Students work in partnership with each other and their local communities on this day to engage in and celebrate meaningful student work that positively impacts the world around them.

Students present learning projects and engage in acts of service that demonstrate the power of EL Education’s vision for public school: a place where children become great scholars and active citizens with the capacity to make a positive impact. See students in action at the Better World Day Community Circle!

Better World Day: Five Years and Counting from EL Education on Vimeo.

Media Features: Better World Day on the Big Screen

Stay tuned to see the debut of media features at EL Education’s 2023 National Conference in Denver, CO, this December!

2023 Media Features

Be the Change

Amana Academy's "Be the Change" expedition empowers 8th-grade students in Alpharetta, GA, to make a real difference in their community.

The school is partnering with a local non-profit organization, Mad Housers, to create affordable shelters for unhoused Atlanta citizens. In this year-long expedition, students can visit a homeless encampment and explore the root causes of homelessness through literature and research. These experiences help students gain empathy and understanding for those in need. Through the design thinking process, they ideate and prototype innovative solutions to improve the existing shelter designs while making them more economical.

My Compass Guide

EnCompass Academy is igniting a powerful movement to uplift and inspire its K-5 students in East Oakland.

Through the creation of “My Compass Guide,” students will delve into their rich histories and cultures, profoundly understanding their unique identities and personal power. The project aims to counter the negative stereotypes plaguing the community and instill pride and poise in racially and gender-diverse students. With the Spring Family Literacy event, EnCompass Academy will bring together families from across the community to celebrate their stories and pledge to a better future for Oakland. EnCompass Academy hopes to inspire other communities to follow their lead and create positive change through self-discovery and collective action by harnessing the transformative power of storytelling.

Bernard's Books

At Elvehjem Elementary School in Madison, WI, “Bernard's Books” is a beautiful tribute to a beloved teacher, Stephanie Bernard, who inspired her students to love books and feel proud of their identities.

After Mrs. Bernard passed away in 2022, her former students established this service project to honor Ms. Bernard's legacy. Bernard’s Books will provide 100 kits to parents of Black and Brown children to promote early literacy and a love of reading. Ms. Bernard's careful selection of books representing her students’ diverse identities is remembered and celebrated by those who knew her, and this project aims to continue that legacy. With collaboration from the District Communications department, local artists, and the PTO, Bernard's Books will make a powerful impact on the future generation of young learners, just as Ms. Bernard did in her 30 years of teaching.

2022 Media Features

Ujima Wellness

Students at Kuumba Academy Charter School embodied Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibility) by partnering with medical professionals to create a school-based health center in their school building.

Out of the Margins

Old Sturbridge Academy students advocated for more diverse representation in Old Sturbridge Village, a 19th-century immersive living museum with which their school shares a site.

Buttons for a Better World

Students make the invisible visible at Explore PK-8 by crafting and wearing unique buttons. These buttons’ designs promote inclusivity and spark connections by sharing the purposes, passions, and identities of button-wearers.

2023 Better World Day Projects

Flint Cultural Center Academy, Michigan

Flint Cultural Center Academy students in Michigan believe a better world begins with better mental health. They conducted mental health surveys in grades K-6, provided students with strategies for improving their mental health, then re-surveyed their peers afterward to gauge the impact of their interventions. On Better World Day, students presented their findings to their community and hosted a mental health fair to bring awareness to local mental health resources.

Clairemont Elementary, Georgia

At Clairemont Elementary in Georgia, 2nd-graders and their teachers designed and recorded a career-themed podcast aligned to their spring learning expeditions. They discussed careers ranging from wellness, engineering, and arts to beauty and technology. Students interviewed guest experts in these respective fields of study and broadcast the podcast via Spotify to the Decatur community and abroad.

Beaverton Academy of Science and Engineering, Oregon

Students at Beaverton Academy of Science and Engineering in Oregon partnered with local nonprofit The Mad Housers to build a tiny home for a community member experiencing homelessness. Other students hosted a plant sale with plants they’ve grown from seeds to raise funds for local schools.

Orange County Educational Arts Academy, California

For Better World Day, students at Orange County Educational Arts Academy in California planned a mural de la esperanza, or wall of hope. As they prepare for the mural, students will embark on a journey of understanding who they are as learners, their challenges, how to courageously speak up about their needs and challenges, and how to encourage others to do the same.

Brighten Academy, Georgia

At Brighten Academy in Georgia, students are organizing an Autism Family Fun Day that celebrates the theme "You Are Not Alone." They are creating activities that celebrate the diverse sensory, physical, and communication needs of students on the Autism Spectrum. Additionally, they are drawing inspiration from Carol Cujec's book "Real" and working on a picture book with chapter summaries from the novel. Since the main character in "Real" is non-verbal, the summaries will be presented in a wordless format to help all readers connect with the experiences of students who may face communication challenges.

Review the Better World Day Action Online!

Better World Day, Five Years of Impact and Counting

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."

Better World Day in Flint, Michigan: A Catalyst for Contribution (Subtitled) from EL Education on Vimeo.

Better World Day In the News

Better World Day caught fire over the years! See highlights of media coverage from across the country:

Better World Day in Portland, Maine: A Higher Purpose from EL Education on Vimeo.

Better World Day is made possible by a generous gift from the Klingenstein Foundation made in honor of Lee P. Klingenstein (1927-2020). Lee Klingenstein, EL Education's Founding Chair, was deeply passionate about providing students with meaningful opportunities to contribute to their communities.