The Power and Importance of Education

6, 7, 8

Students take action by participating in an activity that raises awareness about schools that do not have sufficient resources.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • gain empathy for schools that lack basic resources.
  • raise awareness for schools that lack basic resources.
  • a sheet of paper for each student (can be recycled paper with one blank side)
  • pencils for half the group (old and broken pencils are best)
  • global: related to issues across the globe—a perspective that takes into account the interconnectedness of people, countries, and institutions from across the world
  • resources: available supply or support that can be drawn upon when needed or wanted

• What did you discover about the world? Your community? Yourself?
• What is life like for someone who does not have access to school?
• What is life like for someone who attends a school that has little to no resources?
• Do you think holding a Sit for Good event at your school is/was a good idea? Why or why not?


Building Tomorrow

YouTube of Desmond Tutu speaking about education inequalities in SubSaharan Africa


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Have students sit on the floor for this lesson. Two students must share one piece of scrap paper and a pencil. Give them an assignment to complete with these limited resources. The assignment is to draw an outline of Africa and sketch in and label at least ten countries. They may not use books or the Internet as a resource.

  2. After students work on this assignment, ask them to stop and discuss the experience. They will have been sharing a pencil and supporting the paper on the ground, their palms, or in the air, making it rather difficult to draw and write. And they do not have books to use as a resource.

  3. Ask:

    • Is this a good learning environment? Why or why not?
    • What was difficult about completing the assignment?
    • How did you feel when you didn't have the pencil?
    • How was your experience similar to that of students who don’t have enough educational resources?
    • How does the quality of your school affect your life (building, curriculum, resources, teachers)?
  4. View the video (1:27) of Bishop Tutu introducing the need []

  5. If you do not have Internet access, read the following description:

    • “Your class (or school) agrees to give up your desks and other classroom luxuries (excess school supplies, extra books, electronics, etc.) for a day and sit on the floor to raise awareness about the need for some of the most basic (and absolutely necessary) learning tools in classrooms around the world, all the while participating in classroom activities aimed at learning about the power and importance of an education.”
  6. Students work in groups to read about needs of schools and create a poster, presentation, or letter describing schools that don't have sufficient supplies or opportunities for learning. Their project may be shared with people in their school to begin conversations about having a day to raise awareness, and possibly raise funds, for schools in countries with very little resources for education. 

Cross Curriculum 

Students carry out their plan to hold a Sit for Good event in their school. The event should include opportunities for educating others (students, program staff, teachers, parents) about schooling around the world, and might include a fundraiser for schools in need of resources. This may be adapted for a collection drive or other project to meet the needs of a local school.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Give examples of needs not met by the government, business, or family sectors.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.