Ask About What?
We have all met students who we know are destined to go on and do great things because of deep empathy for others or their leadership skills. And as graduation season wraps up for colleges and high schools across the country, I have been inspired to change my conversation with students in my high school after a slide shared at a conference went viral a while back.
“Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up but what problems do they want to solve. This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, to what do I need to learn to be able to do that.” (Casap)
I spend more time now talking with students about things they want to change or issues that they see and how they are feeling and thought it would be good to visit the topic of child exploitation. It’s more than just an awareness, but how choices they’re making are a part of a global community. How is that coffee farmed in your Dunkin Donuts cup? Where are those Nikes made on your feet and how much do they pay their employees?
It can start with a discussion over one of these titles that features children being exploited: sexually, physically, or psychologically.
Discussing It Through Literature
The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan
Amadou and Seydou are brought to work on a cacao farm while being starved, beaten, and punished, unable to escape the devastation with little hope of escape until Khadija, abducted from her mother’s home provides the strength to try after a traumatic injury threatens the youngest boy’s life.
Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery by Abby Sher
The nonfiction titles showcases diverse stories related to trafficking for labor or sex. Inspiring stories that graphically detail their struggles in 2014. Continue reading What Problems Do You Want to Solve? Using Literature to Discuss Child Exploitation