Samantha Smith Challenge

2019-20 Teacher Guidelines

Part 2: Important Dates and Requirements

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THE 2019-2020 SSC CALENDAR

AWTT portrait of Samantha SmithOCTOBER 1, 2019: SSC Guidelines Available The 5th Annual SSC;  Registration Opens

OCTOBER 1, 2018 - FEBRUARY 14, 2020: Complete “Get to Know AWTT” activity and submit SSC registration form

MARCH/APRIL 2020: SSC workshops/school visits

MAY 15, 2020: SSC project reports submitted to AWTT

JUNE 1, 2020: Everyone attends the Samantha Smith Day celebration!

YOU’LL FIND THE FOLLOWING IN THIS GUIDE:

  • Samantha Smith’s story    
  • Starting points and activities for exploring identity, race, class, gender, and age    
  • Connecting with Changemakers Activity to become familiar with Americans Who Tell the Truth website    
  • Link to online SSC registration form (complete by Feb. 14, 2020)    
  • Steps for completing the SSC    
  • Resources for the SSC: Social Justice through the Arts

REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE SAMANTHA SMITH CHALLENGE:

1. Share Samantha Smith’s story with students.

2. Read and discuss IDENTITY information (Guidelines, Part 3).

3. Complete the Connecting with Changemakers activity (Guidelines, Part 3).

4. Register for the SSC by Feb. 14, 2020 Go here to register.

5. Complete the steps for the Samantha Smith Challenge
a. Identify issue/s
b. Research the issue/s
c. Create your action plan and message about your issue/s – inform, inspire, get a response
d. Describe as an individual or as a group how/if this project has turned you into an activist and what your next steps as an activist might be
e. Attend the SSC Celebration on June 1, 2020 and share your work Sorry. SSC Day cancelled for this year. You will share your work virtually. 

MORE ABOUT SAMANTHA SMITH

From Samantha’s one question -- “who would start a war and why?” -- a peacemaking venture unfolded that brought Russian and American students together to discover understanding and appreciation of one another, to build connections instead of armies and bombs. This eleven year old from Maine had become a teacher, telling her story to adults and children about how the world could be a more peaceful place. She said, "If we could be friends by just getting to know each other better, then what are our countries really arguing about? Nothing could be more important than not having a war if a war could kill everything." Sadly, in August 1985, both Samantha and her father were killed in a plane crash. But Samantha’s memory lives on in her example. Her progress from concern to courageous engagement began with a series of small steps and decisions—something each of us can do! That is our challenge!

Watch brief documentary of Samantha’s journey 

Watch Samantha Smith interview with Ted Koppel

NEXT: Go to Guidelines, Part 3 (Connect with AWTT Portraits)
BACK: Go to Guidelines, Part 1 (Mission, Partners, Background)