Persuasive 3rd graders successfully lobby School to purchase fair-trade chocolate

Third graders have successfully lobbied the School administration to stop purchasing Hershey and Nestle brand chocolate in favor of products that are expressly labeled “fair trade.” The move was made only after the students, as part of a multidisciplinary project-based learning initiative, researched the history of cacao, the central ingredient in chocolate, and learned about how modern-day growers, primarily in South America and West Africa, follow such controversial practices as slash and burn deforestation and the use of child labor in harvesting cacao pods.
For their final projects, the students worked in small groups to create educational websites, videos and brochures, which they’ve shared with the School and local community. “The kids presented their ideas to [Head of School] Matt Micciche and he supported them,” says teacher Judy Sandler. “They also met with the School chef [John D. Bove], who has agreed and is researching wholesale providers of fair trade chocolate. They are the driving force, it’s very cool.” Click here to view one of the videos.
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