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Students Take Civic Action at 100+ Events on Better World Day

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    EL Education

Thank you for joining 50,000 of our students at presentations of learning and acts of civic contribution on Better World Day, 5/4/18. Learn more about their work below.


Conway Elementary

Fourth graders celebrate their Better World Project: Escondido Super Stewards by leading their city in cleaning up a local park and watershed, advocating for restoration efforts with their city community, government officials, parents, and students, and hosting a community lunch. Meanwhile, all students design, paint, and distribute Kindness Rocks to inspire their community and spread positivity.  Escondido, CA

Sierra Expeditionary Learning School

Students join with Tahoe Expedition Academy students for a day of exploration and restoration of the outdoors: studying animal habitats, building bat boxes and birdhouses for local restoration areas; monitoring and researching fish habitats, forest restoration, planting sugar pines, and with trail preservation and restoration. Grass Valley, CA

SAEL (Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning)

Students engage in Know Your Watershed Week local activities with the Bear Yuba Land Trust, and work on their bike charging stations for their first annual “Bike-a-Thon” to raise funds for getting professional bike charger for a neighboring school. Grass Valley, CA

Grass Valley Charter School

Students transplant plants from their school garden for watershed restoration work they are doing in the local creeks, create chalk art to educate the community on the current state of Wolf Creek, and educate citizens on how they can help out with the student- generated restoration plan. Grass Valley, CA

Lighthouse Community Charter School

Students join forces with crew at their sister school, Lodestar Community Charter School, in a coordinated service effort around Oakland, ending the day with a celebration, a slideshow, and an ongoing pledge to continue service in their community. Oakland, CA

Lodestar Community Charter School

Students celebrate their Better World Project: Common Ground that celebrates religious difference and promotes tolerance in their community. Oakland, CA

Manor Elementary

Students hold a Hike for Kindness to raise awareness and inspire their community to kind action. Following the hike, fifth graders will lead a culminating celebration including a few minutes of meditation about how to bring more kindness and empathy to their school, community and world. Fairfax, CA


Downtown Denver Expeditionary School

Students lead a school- wide paint day for community members, local students from Joe Shoemaker, and widespread supporters. They create a large scale mural to encourage positive action in the world, increase visibility of the learning happening in the core of downtown Denver, and tangibly make the public space better together. Denver, CO

Downtown Denver Expeditionary School students celebrate their Better World Project: Connecting With The Refugee Story including their final product of a high quality book of personal interviews and original illustrations.

Escalante Middle School

Students dance a Folklorico Dance followed by community circles honoring diversity, equity, and kindness. Durango, CO

Adventure Elementary

Students partner with Project Linus to create and donate blankets for children in need in their community. Denver, CO

Explore Elementary

Students complete a Fun Run with the local community to raise awareness and build relationships. Thornton, CO

Fox Creek Elementary School

Preschool & kindergarten students cleanup around the school campus; first through sixth graders participate in a gratitude walk with their YO (younger/older) buddy to leave their gratitude note on a neighbors front step with their thankfulness rock holding down the note so it doesn’t blow away! Highlands Ranch, CO

Glenwood Springs Elementary

Crews each plant a tree on their new school grounds to beautify and improve the health of their community. Glenwood Springs, CO

Glenwood Springs Middle School

Students complete service projects within the community including appreciations for police and firefighters, gifts for hospitalized kids, making books that ELL students can read to their parents to help them learn English. Glenwood Springs, CO

Joe Shoemaker

Students celebrate their own community mural and join students at Downtown Denver Expeditionary School to paint another mural together! Denver, CO

Odyssey School of Denver

Students host a community read-in event with public sharing of original writing pieces meant to celebrate and inspire a love of reading. Denver, CO

Silverton School

Students celebrate ongoing learning of their Better World Project: Challenges and Opportunities: The Role Cultural Diversity Has Played in Colorado History and continue to do the work of real historians at the Silverton Cemetery to bring the untold stories of their local community to light. Silverton, CO

St. Rose of Lima School

Students contribute to their neighborhood by building and installing Little Free Libraries. Denver, CO

Summit View

Students give back to their community in numerous ways including creating a school garden for all to enjoy. Highlands Ranch, CO

Tollgate Elementary

Students make Kindness Cards and deliver them to local agencies (police, courthouse, etc.) Aurora, CO

Welby Community School

Students host their first all school exhibition/Celebration Of Learning on environmental issues. Denver, CO

William Smith High School

Students highlight their sustainability projects on social media to raise awareness . Aurora, CO

Center for Family Learning

Students connect with a local orchard and plant a tree on school grounds to beautify and improve their community. Denver, CO

Park Elementary School

Students plant new plants to support bees and butterflies, present learning connected to Earth Day, being responsible for the environment, and post on social media to spread their good work. Durango, CO

Connecticut/ Massachusetts/ Rhode Island/ Maine

Casco Bay High School 

Students join with King Middle School and Presumpscot Elementary School students for a day of celebration and service with over 1,400 students participating together in student designed and facilitated activities and actions to better their community and build relationships. Portland, ME

McDonough Middle School, Sanchez Elementary School, and ELAMS

Students join forces to improve their city and build relationships. They build Little Free Pantries, decorate the pantries with social justice themes, and collaborate to stock and install the pantries in front of the three Hartford EL Education schools on Better World Day. Hartford, CT

Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School (ELAMS)

Students share their experience and learning on their Better World Project: Project Playground in which students create a new accessible and safe playground for all students to enjoy. Hartford, CT

ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication)

Students participate in a bilingual storytelling slam with Connecticut College students and members of a community-based organization called Writer’s Block as well as sharing learning from their award winning Better World Project: Faces of Immigration. Find out more about this project here. New London, CT

Baystate Academy Charter Public School

Tenth graders work with local organizations to plant community gardens to combat urban food deserts in their city.  Springfield, MA

Codman Academy Charter Public School

Students host a Spring Showcase to share learning on issues of social justice, documenting and publicizing that work on social media. Dorchester, MA

Four Rivers Charter Public School

Students celebrate the final product from their year-long Better World Project: The Future of Energy that documents the controversies around choosing energy sources worldwide. Greenfield, MA

Old Sturbridge Academy

Students write letters to people who help them every day: Museum Education Staff, Security, Maintenance, Bus Drivers, School Board, and Parent Advisory Committee. Sturbridge, MA

The Springfield Renaissance School

Students host a Phoenix rising celebration of learning combined with service projects by grade level teams and/or crews. Springfield, MA

Whittemore Elementary

Students partner with younger Head Start buddies to read, gift books, and inspire a love of reading. Waltham, MA

West Bath School

Students will be giving back to our community and organizations who support us including Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, an organization that often supports them through field work and experts, by collecting data and creating maps of vernal pools on their newly acquired land so they are able to plan new trails. West Bath, ME

The Greene School

Students travel from their school in Rhode Island to collaborate with UPrep and Eagle’s Nest Academy students in Flint, MI by giving back to the community through door-to-door deliveries of supplies needed as a result of the water crisis. Greenwich, RI

New York

Genesee Community Charter School 

Students kick off their culminating mural from their Better World Project: Whose Renaissance Is It?. This work takes place in each of Rochester’s 4 Quadrants on this day as students work in crews to paint murals (or mural panels) to support the neighborhoods they live in and work with. Rochester, NY

Roberto Clemente School

Students give back with their Pennies for Patients Fundraiser to raise money for the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society. Rochester, NY

Discovery Charter School

Students build a community garden on their campus and partner with a local food bank to spread healthy food to their local community. Rochester, NY

Expeditionary Learning Middle School

Students host a park cleanup and build birdhouses with their partner, Onondaga Lake Visitor Center. Syracuse, NY

Tapestry Charter School

Students pay it forward by working with local organizations who serve the community in areas such as homelessness, environmental clean-up, and asylum seekers. Buffalo, NY

World of Inquiry School

Students design, paint, and place Better World Benches throughout the school community to encourage members to use them for CREW (Creating Relationships and Embracing Why), their school theme this year.  Rochester, NY

Ripley Elementary School

Students Girls on the Run support the work of the Little Angels of Honduras through a class coin war. Katie Castro visits to collaborate with the group and highlight how their contribution with help serve the Mothers and babies of Honduras. Ripley, NY

NYC Outward Bound Schools


Students pitch well researched arguments from their Better World Project: Youth and Philanthropy before their school and local community in an effort to win funds for the service organization of their choice (advocacy for homeless, aid for immigrants, help for women and families fleeing domestic abuse, etc)  while their peers spread throughout the city to complete service projects in crews. New York, NY

James Baldwin School

Students head to the 4th annual Transformative Practices & Restorative Justice conference at Lehman College and return to teach a series of workshops on restorative justice. New York, NY

Leaders High School

Students run a bystander intervention training for community members at Councilman Mark Treyger’s office. New York, NY

Brooklyn Collaborative

Students collaborate on service projects throughout their school and local community. Brooklyn, NY


Students contribute to a better world through multiple service projects in their community. Staten Island, NY


Students share their year long learning with the world on social media. Forest Hills, NY


Kuumba Academy Charter School

Students write letters to soldiers on active duty thanking them for their service and create a pact to promise to contribute to being an active advocate for a better world. Wilmington, DE


Amana Academy

Students host the ChangeMaker Faire for families and local community to participate in geocaching and other engaging activities in a carnival-like atmosphere that offers fun and encourages building relationships. Alpharetta, GA


Students contribute through service and by lifting their story on social media. Decatur, GA

Scintilla Charter Academy

Students write cards using paper made by kindergarten students, make bird feeders for a local park as they learn how to care for birds, complete a recycling project, meet their pen pals from a local nursing home and share stories, share their products on responding to inequality with the community, and complete a supply drive to help families in need in our community. Valdosta, GA



Students hold a K-8 Kindness March to raise awareness and encourage connection. Garden City, ID

Palouse Prairie

Fourth grade students travel to nearby Lapwai reservation to meet with elders, learn histories, bring gifts, tell stories, plant donated plants, and build relationships for future collaboration in Better World Project: The Confluence of Cultures. Back at school, students create Kindness Rocks and leave them all over their small city to surprise and inspire their community with random acts of kindness. Moscow, ID

Pocatello Community Charter

Students lead #whatsyour17, encouraging their community to do 17 acts of kindness and post their experiences on social media. Pocatello, ID


Polaris Charter Academy

Students work together building relationships with neighbors in West Humboldt by providing food baskets, sweeping, raking, and building relationships with their community with a range of service projects. Chicago, IL


Chamberlain Elementary

Students create and deliver “Gifts of Warmth”, 75-100 finger knitted blankets to an area transitional housing center for families who were rendered homeless during the Goshen/Elkhart floods earlier this year.  Goshen, IN

York Elementary

Students create and deliver ‘kid packs’ filled with school appropriate, healthy snack foods for kids to the Middlebury Indiana food pantry. Goshen, IN

Inspire Academy

Students develop and restore a wetlands on the school property, share ongoing projects and activities, and place a wheelchair accessible swing on the property (the only swing of its kind in Muncie). Muncie, IN


Mark Murray Elementary

Students lead a school wide food drive for the homeless community in the surrounding Detroit area. Detroit, MI


Kindergarten and first grade students use their modules as the anchor for building bird’s nests. Detroit, MI

UPSM Miller

The entire school will participate in designing, painting and placing Character Rocks in their Peace Garden. Detroit, MI

Eagle’s Nest Academy

Students join with UPrep School students to collaborate with students from The Greene School in Rhode Island by giving back to the community through door-to-door deliveries of supplies needed as a result of the water crisis. Flint, MI


Open World Learning School

Eighth grade students share learning from lobbying state elected officials about MN budget while their peers pack approximately 20,000 meals to be distributed to those in need overseas. St. Paul, MN

Schoolcraft Learning Community

Students continue to spread the word about waste with original Found Art sculptures and a School Forest Clean Up. Bemidji, MN

North Carolina

Brunson Elementary

Crews complete service projects incorporating academics from modules and/or the Design Principles of EL to contribute to a better world. Winston-Salem, NC

Evergreen Community Charter School

Students work with 15 community experts and guests to lead service projects and present educational workshops to the community. Asheville, NC

Franklin School of Innovation

Fifth grade students share their original song about bullying with their school community, eleventh grade students launch their Instagram page, and twelfth grade students build at Habitat for Humanity. Asheville, NC

New Mexico

Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences

Students make a new door to their GaGa pit, a popular game for all grades on campus, which makes this fun game accessible to all all students. Santa Fe, NM


Citizens Leadership Academy

Students head out of their classrooms to read and play board games at their local senior center, sort books at the book bank, and make and deliver lunches to the Ronald McDonald House. Cleveland, OH

College Hill

Students make the world a better place by creating an organic garden, zen/reflection space, and outdoor classroom. Cincinnati, OH

Graham Elementary & Middle School

Students celebrate their Better World Project: When Cultures Collide, travel to the Audubon center to pull out invasive species, and work to bring more awareness to the homeless population of Columbus. Columbus, OH

Mt. Washington

Students hold a day of peace to raise awareness and remember a former student who was a victim of gun violence. Cincinnati, OH

The Graham School

Students work on sustainable community gardens and service projects in their community. Columbus, OH


City View Charter School

Students K-5 lead a clean up day at the local Schute Park, working with park staff on maintenance and clean up. Hillsboro, OR

Rimrock Expeditionary Alternative Learning Middle School (REALMS)

Sixth grade students lead lunch waste audits in two nearby schools (Cascades Academy + Bend International School) and share results and learning from their Better World Project:Waste-Less, Nourish-More. Bend, OR

South Carolina

Gilbert High School

Students in eleventh and twelfth grades join River Bluff High School students to celebrate their year long community service work, learning, and contributions. Gilbert, SC

Meadow Glen Elementary

Students plant multiple new trees on their new school grounds. Lexington, SC

Meadow Glen Middle School

Students do service projects within the community including appreciations for police, firefighters, gifts for hospitalized kids, making books that ELL students can read to their parents to help them learn English, etc. Lexington, SC

River Bluff High School

Students join with Gilbert High School students to celebrate their year long community service work, learning, and contributions. Gilbert, SC

LEAD Academy

Students participate in service and lift their story on social media. Greenville, SC


Entheos Kearns

Students host a 4H STEM event for families and community members of the greater Salt Lake, host a donation event for Wigs for Kids, and lead iPedals For Hope, a community bike ride. Kearns, UT

Promontory School of Expeditionary Learning

Students hold a schoolwide clean-up of Dale Young Nature Park in Perry, Utah while kindergarten students plant flowers in the school polination garden. Perry, UT


Campbell Elementary

Students create a photo montage of year-long learning for Better World Day and share on social media around three school themes: environmental stewardship/caring for the grounds, caring for each other- showing kindness/community service/activism, and celebrating diversity. Arlington, VA

Washington D.C./ Baltimore

Capital City Charter School

Students celebrate their Better World Project: Food Justice, a study of local food politics. They also highlight school wide learning on social media. Washington, D.C.

Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School for Girls

Students join the nationwide celebration by working hard in their school garden and posting pictures and quotes on social media. Baltimore, MD

Two Rivers Public Charter School

Students highlight student work and learning that is taking place during select spring expeditions including pre-school students growing healthy gardens to make our world a more beautiful place, first grade students helping the world understand the whole story about spiders. Washington, D.C.


Kettle Falls Elementary School 

Students complete service projects such as beautifying the spaces between portables to prepare for next year’s new playground, hanging birdhouses for American Kestrels, reading aloud at the public library, and creating a sensory path for peers. Kettle Falls, WA

Kettle Falls High School 

Students work to revitalize the local Happy Dell Park including work on the playground, tennis courts, and Little League Baseball Field. Kettle Falls, WA

Kettle Falls Middle School

Students build a Better World by hosting a Choose Kind Night! to celebrate kindness with a meal, a movie, and activities that hope to spread kindness throughout Kettle Falls. Kettle Falls, WA


Arbor Vitae - Woodruff Elementary

Students lead school wide conversation on authentic service, contribution to a better world, and developing social justice action at their school. Arbor Vitae, WI

Atwater Elementary 

Students construct May baskets with multi-age crews, add statements about how they have made a better world through authentic expedition products, and deliver the baskets to neighbors in the community. Shorewood, WI

Bose Elementary 

Students give back to their community by delivering socks and underwear collected through their “Undie 500” to the Shalom Center. Kenosha, WI

Frank Elementary 

Students collaborate with Harborside students to create beautiful spaces in and around their schools. Kenosha, WI

Harvey Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Bose Elementary, and Vernon Elementary  

Students join together to create and distribute Kindness Rocks as their visual statement for making a better world and a thoughtful contribution to the Kenosha community. Kenosha, WI

Lake Bluff 

Students invite families, experts, and community members to their Celebration of Learning where students host talks on their work and its authentic connection to community needs. Shorewood, WI

Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy 

Students celebrate yearlong learning with a focus on connections/contributions to the community and authentic learning. Milwaukee, WI

West Virginia

Explorer Academy & Grandview Elementary

Students transform their outdoor space by planting pollinator-friendly plants and supporting the community to do the same; fifth grade students will join forces with Grandview Elementary (Charleston, WV) across the state to work on a can food drive for those in need. Huntington, WV

Grandview Elementary School

Students continue work on Better World Project: The Nourishment They Need to combat hunger in their neighborhood by growing produce and helping families grow the food they need. Students lobby their school district for quality meals at school with lower amounts of artificial sugars and share healthy life habits in their school and community. Charleston, WV