For their Spring service learning project, Grade 3 students at Trinity School in Menlo Park created a walk-through exhibit sharing real-life stories of children forced into factories, fields, and mines to exploit child labor.
The topic game as result of answering the question, “What are problems you are aware of in the world?” The students brainstormed and then voted on their topic.
Kim Thacker, Service Learning Coordinator at thechool, was somewhat surprised at the interest and initial awareness the students had about the serious concept of child labor. She provided the students with pre-screened and age-appropriate articles, stories, and photographs to use in their research.
The students worked in groups or individually to express their personal impressions and stories in words, drawings, and photos. Several chose serious graphic novel short stories, some did short paragraphs and drawings, and some utilized powerful photos and captions.
“The day in the life of…”, a two-part poem (above), compared the story of a free child to the life of a child sold into a child-labor factory — drastically different experiences for children of the same age. These reflections are powering the next questions for the third graders: “What can we do to help?”
The students raise money throughout the year for service projects, and they are choosing to send a portion to organizations that help rescue kids force into labor and provide them with education.