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High school student Global Leaders complete a scavenger hunt to learn about global issues.
Global Education

How John A. Holmes High School Is Teaching Global Issues Through Local Action

On April 17, 2024, students from John A. Holmes High School enjoyed a sunny spring day with a scavenger hunt aimed at teaching global issues. This event kicked off Global Ambassadors, the student-led part of the school’s use of Participate Learning’s Global Leaders framework.

The scavenger hunt was a team effort. It was organized by Principal Sonya Rinehart and two members of the school’s Global Committee, Victoria Brinson and Luann Shoemaker. They planned this engaging activity to build students’ awareness of local issues in Edenton and show how their local issues connect to global issues.

Teaching global issues with local connections

The day began with a video titled “If the World Were 100 People.” It showed global inequalities and made students contemplate economic disparities. Principal Rinehart pointed out that only 13 percent of people in Chowan County have college degrees, making the video’s wage statistics hit close to home. Students were asked to consider, “If there were only 100 people in the world, would you fight harder for equality?”

With this new global perspective, students started the scavenger hunt, finding real-world examples of global issues in their own community. They were encouraged to take actions such as identifying women-owned businesses that support gender equality and finding places to improve recycling to promote responsible consumption.

Student leadership in global learning

“A small group is a mighty force,” said Principal Rinehart, capturing the empowering spirit of the day. Student Global Ambassadors from each grade and various school clubs shared their views throughout the hunt. One student talked about the importance of learning about diverse cultures in music and arts, while another discussed the importance of student mental health.

The activity led to thoughtful reflections, such as the need for more accessible parks and better clean water systems. Students suggested solutions like a community food drive involving local restaurants and the food bank, a rooftop garden on downtown buildings, and rentable electric bikes for sustainable tourism.

Collaborating with community leaders for sustainable change

After the scavenger hunt, students had lunch with Susan Creed, the executive director of Edenton’s Chamber of Commerce, and Ches Chesson from Destination Downtown Edenton. They discussed their observations, ideas, and questions from the day. During their conversation, Creed shared about local initiatives, like a waste expert working to incorporate environmental education into schools. In talking with Chesson, students learned that they couldn’t find solar panels during their scavenger hunt downtown because there is currently no policy for handling the excess energy they may produce.

The scavenger hunt showed the power of working together to achieve a common goal. Students, local businesses, and community leaders came together to drive sustainable change in an outstanding example of how to teach global issues locally. The event empowered John A. Holmes High School students to see themselves as global citizens who can make positive changes locally.

Looking ahead, students are excited to work with the town manager on projects like creating a map to show the community impact of local businesses. This event has set the stage for many future initiatives by connecting global issues to local actions.

Participate Learning is proud to support such transformative educational practices. If your school or district is interested in preparing students for their future careers by teaching global issues, contact us to learn more.

For more updates on our global learning programs and the amazing work at our partner schools, stay tuned to our blog and follow us on social media.  #UnitingOurWorld #GlobalLeaders

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