Background: April 26 to May 2, 2020, is Global Action Week for Education, an international campaign to raise awareness of the importance of education around the world.
As Girl Scouts, we celebrate Global Action Week for Education because when a girl receives an education, it changes her life, and that change has a ripple effect on her family, her community, and her world. We celebrate so that all children can get an education and to achieve the UN Sustainable Goal 4 for quality education.
As many of you already know, the current COVID-19 pandemic is having a major effect on schools around the world. Many schools have had to close in order to protect students, teachers, and the community from spreading the disease.
You or one of your friends or family might be affected by these school closings, and it’s okay to feel anxious or uncertain about everything that is happening. But as Girl Scouts, we’re taught to help others. Here are some ideas about how you can support students and schools for Global Action Week for Education—they all come from the Girl Scout Global Action Days toolkit.
Activity: Pick one of two things to help students and to celebrate the Global Action Week for Education. For most of these activities, you’ll really just need a computer or smart phone with internet capability, like what you’re using to access this right now.
Let’s get started. The first idea is to start a virtual tutoring or homework help club. With so many students out of school, many kids are not getting the time they need in the classroom. You and your friends might be able to help.
Consider reaching out to a younger Girl Scout troop or to a teacher and offer tutoring or homework help online. You can video chat with a student or a group of younger Girl Scouts or other students and work with them on their homework or spend time reading to them.
You might also want to reach out to a library, since many libraries provide homework help but might be closed or have limited hours because of the outbreak.
The second option is to be an advocate for your schools and peers. We are dealing with the shift to a virtual life these days, including virtual school. Unfortunately, not all schools or students have everything they need to offer quality virtual classes and programs. Find out what students, and teachers in your community need to support online learning and then advocate on their behalf by spreading the word.
First, figure out who is the best person to reach out to in order to get some information. Some people to think about asking might be a teacher, a principal, a school district superintendent or an administrator. You may even consider interviewing a couple of your classmates to get their insights. Once you’ve identified who you’re going reach out to set up a time to speak with them virtually. You could have the conversation using a video call to make it more personal, if you and the staff member are comfortable doing that. Use this time to find out what the school might need to better support students if they are not in school or if they’re going to school online at this time. For example, is there virtual software that might make information sharing easier? Do all students have access to technology they need at home?
It’s important to ask first before you start advocating because this way you’re helping in a way that is really helpful. By asking, you can find out what your community really needs.
Next, spread the word. After you’ve found out what teachers and students in your community need, make sure that decision makers also know. You can write, call or email your state and federal elected officials to tell them what you learned, and what you’d like them to do to support students and schools during and after this time. Reach out to others in your community to help you reach out to decision makers, the more people know about what your community needs the more powerful your message will be.
Hopefully, this experience helping students continue their educations made you part of a positive community response to the coronavirus. Thank you for doing your part!
We’d love to hear what you tried! Post a photo of your project on Instagram and tag @GirlScouts with the hashtag #Together4Education during Global Action Week for Education and see what girls around the world are also doing.
If you liked this activity, please share it with another girl and check out our other activities for Girl Scouts Ambassadors! You can find more Global Action Days activities in the Volunteer Toolkit.
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are
available free of charge in the Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.
Girl Scout Activity Zone activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming.
To learn from a person or group who pushed for change in public policy.