Connecting the World & the Classroom
World Savvy Classrooms students at Clara Barton Open School learned about how poverty in Central America stems from complex social factors and historical trauma — then examined the ways poverty exists in their own community in the Twin Cities.
Lead by their teacher Kirsten Hunt, 6th graders at Clara Barton Open School participate in the World Savvy Classrooms program. They did an interdisciplinary project within their English Language Arts and Social Studies classes, focused on the topic of Breaking Barriers. The class engaged in an inquiry unit by examining World Savvy’s nonfiction case study focused on Poverty in Central America. Students discovered the current state of poverty in Central America stemming from deep historical trauma and fueled by complex social and geographic factors. Barton Open students drew connections to a fictional text, Seedfolks (Fleischman, 2004), where immigrant characters share their narratives and stories around planting a community garden. Through this experience, they break barriers of individual isolation and build a diverse community. Students then took an additional step to examine the ways poverty exists in their own community in the Twin Cities.
As a part of the World Savvy Classrooms program, students research topics they are passionate about in their communities and the world, and then use our Knowledge-to-Action design process to develop solutions they can implement in their communities. One team from Clara Barton – For Girls By Girls – decided to break barriers within their community by examining women’s menstruation health more deeply, and seeking perspectives from women living in poverty. They found that 1.2 billion women globally lack access to basic sanitation and hygiene and one in five girls in the United States miss school for reasons due to period poverty. For Girls By Girls believe that menstruation education and access to supplies is a basic human right. They thought deeper and designed deliberate new ways for local women to gain access to education and supplies for their menstruation health. They created a video documenting their process and solution for our annual Pitchfest: