“A Better World”
EL Education is celebrating Better World Day, an annual, national event showcasing student learning that contributes to a better world. 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. In this series, students and teachers from EL Education schools across the country share what Better World Day means to them.
Jasper Cox is a seventh-grade student at The Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Jasper is also a member of EL Education’s Student Advisory Council, a group of 12 students nationwide working to leverage their perspectives and experiences to improve education.
A “better world” can mean something different for everyone, depending on where you come from and your experiences. In my eyes, a better world is one where everyone feels accepted, understood, and safe; everyone feels comfortable in their own skin, and no one needs to hide their identity behind a sculpted face.
, 7th-grade student
“A better world is one where everyone feels accepted, understood, and safe; everyone feels comfortable in their own skin, and no one needs to hide their identity behind a sculpted face.”
In many communities, people hide their true identities because of a lack of open, honest representation. But Better World Day is an amazing opportunity for schools and students to make a positive change in their communities. This Better World Day, I hope to help people understand that those forced to hide their true identities are often the ones with the most important stories. We could go a long way toward achieving a better world by sharing those stories and listening to their guidance. Behind every smile, there is a story and a creative individual–no one should be forced to hide this person.
Here is a poem I wrote that shares my vision for a better world:
“A Better World”
A perfect world
It sits behind a wall that we cannot climb
A vivid dream we cannot grasp
Every step closer is a step back
The floor seems to fade away
But the hands reach out
They cradle our souls
We need to fly
The words of a perfect world stain us like bitter coffee drips
We need something
We need equality
We need comfort
We need acceptance
If we are suffering, imagine those who are falling, because the floor already caved beneath their feet
We need to extend our hearts like ladders
And those who are heartbroken can help plant the flowers
The ones that welcome all of us to the road
The wall, we cannot scale
Nor can we dig or fly
A perfect world is a mere concept
But we have potential
If we join we can make something beautiful
Join hearts and link minds
We must create our own concept
This concept will have no wall
It won’t be perfect, but it will be beautiful
It will be open,
And it will be
A better world.
So, as the path behind us fades and crumbles,
We shall lift the voices of those who hurt
And with their guidance, we will make
A better world.
*EL Education is proud to host diverse voices and offer a platform for dialogue on topics impacting educators and students. Views of guest bloggers are their own and may differ from the views of EL Education.
To hear more voices from EL Education school communities reflecting on Better World Day, discover blog posts from the series below.