Inspiring students through self-directed humanitarian projects

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

On October 22nd and 29th, I shared the one strategy that I’ve found to have the biggest impact on my students: Each year I encourage them to develop and deliver their own humanitarian project—one that helps others by providing aid or resources not otherwise available to them.

This project is often life-changing for students, encouraging them to understand more about others’ lives and challenges and to develop their own ability to share what they’ve learned and what they value as a result.

I shape their efforts by first helping them understand what it means to support someone in a humanitarian project. Then, I encourage them to develop the planning, communication, and presentation skills they need to engage their community in their project. And I help them connect their efforts with the social, cultural, and historical context that shapes their own histories. My students leave the classroom with a deeper, more empathetic understanding of the world around them

On October 22, I introduced this strategy in a free, one-hour workshop that gives you the information you need to encourage your students’ own humanitarian projects. You’ll have a chance to reflect about this approach and to begin to personalize the resources and practices I know first-hand work will well for students for your own classroom. Then, our group will met again on October 29 to share ideas and help fine-tune everyone’s approach in ways that will make it easier for you to introduce this strategy to your students.


Michael Lindblad

Michael Lindblad is a multicultural educator from Portland, Oregon. He just completed his 45th speaking engagement as the keynote speaker for the United Way event at the Portland Art Museum. Michael has recently earned the OEA/NEA 2016 Teacher of ... Full Bio