Temple University’s Liacouras Center last week was packed with individuals showcasing their work to inspire and create social change in the world – and most of those individuals were no older than eighth grade.
The National Liberty Museum hosted it ninth Young Heroes Impact Celebration to highlight the work of students from 18 different schools, including four from the Northeast. The science fair-style presentations covered topics from animal abuse to police brutality.
Fourth- through eighth-graders can participate in the Young Heroes Outreach Program, which allows students to choose a real-world topic they feel passionately about raising awareness and making a change to. The curriculum educates students about the freedoms of the First Amendment and how people use their rights and liberties.
“Going into the schools, particularly when they’re learning the First Amendment rights, and watching them in the classroom, they’re really engaged and paying attention and raising their hands,” said Gwen Borowsky, CEO of National Liberty Museum.
Joseph J. Greenberg Elementary School gave a presentation about child abuse to their fellow students and set up a table at the Mayfair Spring Arts Festival to spread knowledge about signs of child abuse and how to handle possible child abuse situations.
Fifth-grade students at Solis-Cohen Elementary organized a Walk Against Bullying to raise money for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, while also educating fellow students what consequences bullying could have at an assembly.
Animal cruelty was the topic of conversation at St. Christopher Catholic School. Focusing on dog fighting and puppy mills, they coordinated a school-wide drive to benefit the PSPCA and organized a school assembly.
Fifth-grade students at Stephen Decatur Elementary School collaborated with Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money for childhood cancer research while they studied child health and wellness. They also donated bags filled with coloring supplies, books and notes of support for cancer patients at CHOP.
The program is offered to schools for free and is sponsored by companies including The Allstate Foundation, PECO, Ernst & Young, the Philadelphia Foundation, Tozour Energy Systems and Republic Bank.