Need in Deed students learn while they make a difference in their communities.

Every year, the students in Need in Deed classrooms tell us what community issues they care about and why. Whatever issue they choose, we support them in designing and implementing a project that will help make a difference in their community. With their teacher as a guide, their issue and project becomes a lens for learning, the context for key concepts and skills in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies, as well as social and emotional skills.

When we ask students what they care about . . .

  • They tell us that they care about their communities.
  • They tell us that they care about hunger, homelessness, gun violence, mental health, child welfare, animal welfare, and environmental impacts on their communities.
  • They tell us that they want to understand how the concepts and skills they learn in school connect to the world.
  • They tell us that they want to make a difference.

Featured Student Projects

Additional Projects

Fighting Racism with Antiracism

Russell Byers 4th graders want to see change happen   What did they care about? Developmentally, 4th graders are often fixated on the idea of fairness. They are passionate and outspoken when they perceive something in or outside the classroom to be unfair. Toward the beginning of the school year, Lucy Strother’s students participated in […]

Learn More

21st Century Waste Management

21st Century Waste Management: Keeping Tilden Middle Community School Clean and Green! What did they care about? Tilden Middle School is a community school in southwest Philadelphia, so Cheryl Padgett recognized early on that they had built-in partnerships to expand on. She knew a yearlong project would be perfect for her students with autism, as […]

Learn More

Gun Violence Prevention

What did they care about? Sarah Beverly’s 7th grade students at Lea Elementary in West Philadelphia began the year with a motto: “Change makers learn to read and write so that together we can change the world.” This motto set them up to write their own mission statements, design intersectionality identity plates, interview family members […]

Learn More