“Ted Talks” for Kids: How Third Graders Embrace the Power of Bicycles

A recent series of “TED”-style talks promoted World Bicycle Relief’s mission to support rural African communities. But the speakers weren’t your usual presenters. They were a group of third graders from TOPS K-8 in Seattle.

Teacher Kristy Herrmann wanted to teach her students informational reading and research through social justice. She asked them two questions: “What resources are available to us?” and “how are people around us using their resources to support others?”

In response, several students chose to highlight World Bicycle Relief.

Students relate to students

“We landed on World Bicycle Relief because you all are doing such a great job of using your resources (bikes!) and using them to support other people,” Herrmann said. “Hearing stories about students was something that they could directly identify with.”

The students researched WBR and bicycles as a reliable transportation option in rural areas of developing countries. Then they prepared essays, Powerpoints and presentations based on the well-known TED Talks.

Among their goals: to convince their classmates and parents to donate.

Ted talk class picture

“Woah! Can you believe that bicycles can get you places faster than your feet? You should read this to get a blast! Bye! Whoosh! … World Bicycle Relief helps people by giving bikes to people who need them. We can help by giving money and volunteering,” Clara’s essay reads.

“When students have to walk to school, it takes many hours, and they don’t get to spend as much time at school. Then, they don’t get as good of an education,” Chantreya wrote.

Ted Talks presentation

“Children going to school and visiting the health clinic are more challenging because of the barrier of distance,” Xin Tong said.

The students’ persuasive presentations raised $23.10 toward mobilizing communities in rural Africa. Thank you, Clara, Chantreya and Xin Tong! We appreciate your hard-earned donation. And we are filled with joy over your enthusiastic support of The Power of Bicycles.

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