Ed. Notes- We felt with the start of the new term, it was a good idea to re-introduce the Teacher Guide to our readers. This review ran in the Seeds of Peace Newsletter in their Summer 2012 edition. At that time, the Guide was available for sale in book form for $26 and as a digital download for $12. Today the guide is available for a FREE download in either English or Spanish.

Finding Solutions to Hunger A Resource for Middle- and High-School Teachers

Reviewed by Katie Cook

In a national environment where boards of education are doing their best to remove minority stories from history books, teachers who are concerned about marginalized populations need all the help they can get. I am delighted to say that World Hunger Year (WHY) and Kids Can Make a Difference (KIDS) have created an excellent resource for our schools that will help educators teach young people about hunger and hunger-related issues.

Finding Solutions to Hunger is a 255page curriculum for middle- and high-school students in public and private schools. The resource, updated in 2009 by Stephanie Kempf, has been used in more than 5,000 classrooms and after-school programs. Its 25 lessons teach young people about how hunger feels and how it affects people, the importance of food, the inequality of food distribution, and the links between poverty, hunger, joblessness, and homelessness. Each lesson provides numerous ideas for activities to help kids understand these realities, and also gives them an opportunity to respond in a practical way. Finding Solutions is made up of three components.

The book is complemented by a website (www.kidscanmakeadifference. org) that keeps global and national information updated. KIDS also produces the Finding Solutions Newsletter, with three issues a year. The newsletter highlights current hunger issues and describes innovative ways that teachers have used the curriculum, as well as ways that students have responded.

Finding Solutions includes three units: “What Is Hunger?” with six lesson plans, “Why Are People Hungry?” with 14 lesson plans, and “What Can We Do to Help End Hunger?” with five lesson plans. Unit I covers nutrition and the difference between famine and chronic hunger. It explores the diets of people (specifically teenagers) from several different parts of the world. Unit II tackles the causes of hunger, including the history of colonial resources ism, the way US foreign aid works and the importance of female education. This unit also teaches students about the minority populations in the US who are most at risk for food insecurity. One lesson contains several excellent exercises that acquaint kids with how it would feel to be homeless. Another lesson takes a look at some of the ways media and advertising affect the lives of poor people.

Still another introduces The Grapes of Wrath to teach about the horrors of the Great Depression. Unit III is about what kids can do to help end hunger, such as conducting surveys, responding with art, joining community activities, writing letters to government officials and newspaper editors—even testifying before a legislative body. The book also includes fundraising ideas, contact information for hunger organizations and an annotated resource list that is organized by topic.

All through the book, teachers will find true stories about people (including kids) who are making a difference in their communities. In its introduction, Finding Solutions also also sets out ideas for a short, two-week lesson plan, in case the educator only has two weeks to spend on a hunger program.

This project received a prestigious award this summer from Psychologists for Social Responsibility. The award is given annually to an individual or organization whose efforts focus on peace and social justice for children.

Finding Solutions is a treasure trove for any leader who wants to teach young people about hunger and what they can do to end it.

Katie Cook Katie Cook is the editor of Hunger News & Hope and Sacred Seasons published by Seeds of Hope. She also edits Baptist Peacemaker, the magazine of Baptist Peace Fellowship North America ~ Bautistas por la Paz. She lives in Waco, Texas.

Seeds of Peace inspires and cultivates new generations of global leaders in communities divided by conflict. We equip them with the skills and relationships they need to accelerate social, economic, and political changes essential for peace.

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About us

Kids Can Make a Difference is a program of iEARN (International Education and Resource Network), the world's largest non-profit global network. iEARN enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.

Finding Solutions to Poverty & Inequality Alliance:

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