For the Media

Empowering young students to act globally

Empowering young students to act globally

How did being a NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow change your students’ world?

As I traveled through Brazil, visiting schools during the Fellowship’s field study, a powerful message was being delivered. Even though I was so far from home, and in an entirely different culture, I found teachers had the same hopes and dreams that I have for my own students. However, the students in Brazil had to overcome many more obstacles just to be on the same playing field as students in my school.

This epiphany hit home for me.  In order to work together as a global community, we must learn to reach out to understand and help each other.

This is one of the messages that I brought back to my students at Waitsfield Elementary: make a difference; make sure that peoples’ basic needs are being met; and learn to help where we can.  This idea served as the launching pad for our involvement in the Heifer Project.  In less than a month, with the support of Heifer International, and sponsors from all over Vermont, 18 states, and two foreign countries, my 15 first and second graders raised over $3,500.

Who would have thought the NEA Foundation’s Global Learning Fellowship, an opportunity of a lifetime, would have had such a tremendous impact on not only myself, but my students as well, and, as a result, bring much needed livestock, crops, and education to children across the world?

Here’s our story.

Download the curriculum Thomas Young developed to support his students’ work.


Featured educator, Thomas Young, is a 2013 Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow and teaches at Waitsfield Elementary School in Waitsfield, VT. Find more information about the Global Learning Fellowship and discover global lesson plans created by Fellows.