Service Sparks: ABCs of Advocacy

Grade Level: 
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Informational Media
Simple Safe Service
Social Action
Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! Share your knowledge and ideas for action about an issue you care about through writing and illustrating an ABC book. This format is great for teaching younger children (or anyone) about the vocabulary of inclusion and respect. Alternatively, write lyrics to a song and perform it to share your passion.


Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! 


Books are a great way to teach young people about new ideas and build empathy about an issue. The ABC book format is a simple concept that is a great way to teach vocabulary and knowledge.



  1. Talk about favorite ABC books from childhood. Discuss what you liked about it.
  2. Read and discuss this Aspen Institute story about a group of teens who tought concepts of empathy through an ABC book. What is effective about their approach, language, and message?
  3. Decide what you want young people to know and be able to do to make the world a better place. It could be about environmental stewardship, diversity and inclusion, kindness, or mental health. You decide what you care about. 
  4. Working with a small team or on your own, make a list of words from A to Z that could come together into a story that teaches and inspires action. Use this opportunity to learn from experts and discuss ideas and action critically.  
  5. Write, revise, and edit your book. Ask for feedback from people of diverse ages, backgrounds, and perspectives. Discuss language and message to make it as inclusive and honest as possible.
  6. Make a final copy of the book and illustrate it.
  7. Record your team reading the book aloud while showing the pictures. Share your recording with community and online groups where the topic has meaning. 

Note: As an alternative to a book, the team can write original lyrics for a song that teaches and inspires information and action.

Reflection: How can reading a book to someone build empathy and compassion?

Explore more Service Sparks projects:


Learning to Give ... 

  • educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge),
  • equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills), and,
  • empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior).