Reopening: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools

Better World Day: Coronavirus FAQ

Better World Day has never been more important than in this time of global crisis with so many in need. In response to the extraordinary circumstances, Better World Day 2020 is launching Better World Day Connections. Students will create Connections—videos, paintings, sidewalk chalk creations, letters, and cards of appreciation for those who are demonstrating courage and kindness by helping others in this difficult time. At a time of physical distancing, Better World Day enables us to be connected in meaningful action. 

We are asking students to create messages of care, hope, and gratitude virtually or with materials at home and post with #BetterWorldDay. Each post will appear on EL Education’s Better World Day page in a beautiful gallery of student contributions.

  • Students, teachers, school leaders and families can help identify individuals to reach out to with messages of appreciation.
  • Better World Connections will take place throughout April of 2020, culminating on Better World Day, Friday, May 1.

FAQ: Is Better World Day Still Happening?

Yes! We are committed to the safety of our students, families, and staff by mobilizing students to create Better World Day Connections at home—messages of appreciation for all those caring for others during this difficult time. Students can choose to thank groups of people (“To all my teachers” or “To all nurses at Lawrence General Hospital”, etc) or address their messages to a particular person. If students can get the name of a particular nurse from a hospital list, for example, it makes the message that much more personal and powerful for giver and receiver. Types of courageous workers we can thank include:

  • Teacher, crew leader, or school leader
  • Support staff at a local hospital
  • Mental healthcare worker
  • Homeless shelter worker
  • Postal worker
  • Grocery store worker

We are asking students to use recycled materials, art supplies, and crafting materials to create their Better World Day Connections or to create Better World Day connections on social media in the form of videos, songs.

When is Better World Day Happening?

We hope to share posts throughout the month of April, leading up to Better World Day on Friday, May 1. On Better World Day, we will celebrate and highlight all the student contributions that are helping to make the world a better place.

How can we create and share Connections virtually?

Many students are skilled artists and designers online. We encourage teachers and students to utilize all tools when creating messages of thanks and support, including any that produce meaningful artwork and writing of Connections. For example:

  • Siblings create a musical message of thanks on Youtube.
  • Friends edit together multiple short video messages of support for a unique montage on Facebook.
  • The entire family paints a recycled sheet with messages of thanks to hang outside their home and takes a picture to post on Instagram.

Please post any creations with #BetterWorldDay so they can be shared broadly and inspire more contributions from others.

What if we are totally new to Better World Day?

Welcome! Please sign up for our mailing list, use #BetterWorldDay to share your creations, and explore this site for more resources.

Are participating schools still on a Better World Day Team?

We have joined the four Better World Day teams together this year in a single force. All coaches and Kid Captains will continue to guide, inspire, and lead Better World Connections from their corners of the world while safely at home. For example, Kid Captains from the Environmental Stewardship Team may write to local animal shelter workers, Kid Captains from Hunger, Housing, and Homelessness Team may write to local homeless shelter workers. In the interest of inclusivity and simplicity, all students on all teams will be contributing meaningful Better World Day Connections during this effort to support those helping our communities through these challenging times.

What if we have a different Better World Day Plan?

If schools have other Better World Day projects planned that can take place without physical proximity, we also encourage them to go ahead with those. For example, Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning students plan to continue their Seniors to Seniors project of interviewing isolated senior citizens and celebrating their stories; they will use virtual interviews.

In addition, schools have already begun posting content with #BetterWorldDay- art, project ideas, and messages of support and solidarity including the Arts Showcase. That work can and should continue! To join the Arts Showcase, students can create a piece of visual art (drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, diorama, photograph, animation), written work (poem or short story), or performing art (dance or movement, original song or composition) to demonstrate their vision for a better world. Post with #BetterWorldDay!

Lastly, many schools are creating the just-right project for their community in response to the current crisis. Please loop us in whether through #BetterWorldDay or via communication with Better World Day coaches. Stay tuned for the Better World Day Idea Bank which will feature a running list of additional projects happening nationwide.

What about if schools reopen?

Many schools have planned Better World Day activities that involve being in school on Friday, May 1st, hosting large groups of community members and students together in person, or both. The current health crisis will most likely prevent schools from safely executing their original plans. If your school is able to adapt original plans, please keep us posted on activities. In the meantime, we hope everyone will be able to access Better World Day Connections, whether or not their school is open.

What if my school received a stipend from EL Education?

If the funds from EL have not already been invested in a planned Better World Day project, we suggest that schools use those funds to get supplies to students—card stock, envelopes, stamps, art supplies—if this is possible. But we also trust schools to use those funds however they feel best during this challenging time.