Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Does the drama club need money to go on a trip? Don’t sell pretzels door-to-door. Instead, sell Fair Trade chocolate, tea and coffee. Equal Exchange, an employee-owned Fair Trade organization that works with farmer co-ops from all over the world to provide organic coffee, teas, chocolate, and snacks to U.S. consumers, has expanded into homeroom.
Equal Exchange has partnered with Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit that creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn money. To create a joint fundraising effort, Ten Thousand Villages brings the handmade crafts to U.S. markets for Equal Exchange to sell.
More than 600 participating schools has participated in Fair Trade fundraising, but Equal Exchange wants students to do more than sell chocolates. They also want children to learn about and understand the world and environment around them. The organization has created a 16 unit curriculum for teachers with lessons focusing on geography (cacao plant grows in the Dominican Republic), history and community (students think about people past and present who made a difference), cooperatives (the trade-offs and rewards that come with working closely with peers), and more.
To get your school involved and to learn more about the program, visit the Equal Exchange website.