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What Are You Going To Do About It?

We think every school should have a copy of the inspirational book You Can Change the World so we teamed up with author Margaret Rooke to put together a short film for schools

All the evidence points to the fact that if we feel powerless, if we feel we have no control over our lives, if we feel we have no agency, then pretty soon, these things start to stack up against us.

Putting aside the arguments about how the education system may be historically designed to take control and power away from young people, we know the magic that can happen when young people are given a voice and encouraged to act.

Especially when that is combined with an awareness of the issues around them, important ones that need addressing personally, locally, nationally or beyond.

With support and guidance, young people can and will set about making a difference to their lives and the lives of others.

Indeed, in the International Baccalaureate, for example, ‘Service’ is actually part of the curriculum along with ‘Creativity’ and ‘Activity’ to make the CAS element of a young person’s overall grade.

All of which means, when we came across a book with the title You Can Change the World: Everyday Teen Heroes Making a Difference Everywhere our ears definitely pricked up.

This book really should be available in every school. It is a wonderfully inspiring collection of stories from all across the globe of young people seeing something that needed fixing - and doing something about it.

It’s why we worked with author Margaret Rooke to put together this short film schools can use to inspire their own young people to take a stand and make a difference.

You Can Change the World: Everyday Teen Heroes Making a Difference Everwhere by Margaret Rooke

From a campaign by twelve-year-old Lucy that led to all UK supermarkets banning eggs from caged birds to nine-year-old Guro in Norway who changed the way a music video and an department store portrayed females to Cameron from Harrogate with cerebral palsy who was fed up sitting on the touchline and set up the football team Adversity United at the age of sixteen to Yamikani, fighting for girls' rights in Malawi.

Hear from these young activists in the film and then read the book for many more stories like theirs. Then, think about how you could help young people in your school follow their lead. In the words of the author:

"They could use a lesson to help children choose a campaign to work on - anything from cutting waste from school dinners to raising funds to help with famine relief or whatever they'd like to suggest. I've led these lessons really successfully, getting the students to spend quiet time thinking of what would really matter to them that they could influence, then working in teams to work up a strategy, then presenting them to the class, and then voting on a favourite. The kids get fired up!"

These stories are there not only to inspire but also to remind young people - and the not so young - of one important question:

If there’s something that needs changing, what are you going to do about it? [ITL]


To get your copy of this inspiring book with 25% off the RRP, head over to the Jessica Kingsley website and use the discount code YCCTW25 at checkout.

Check out Margaret Rooke's website here.

About the author

Ian Gilbert

Ian Gilbert is an award-winning writer, editor, speaker, innovator and the founder of Independent Thinking. He has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia and is privileged to have such a global view of education and education systems.

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