The Samantha Smith Challenge
Educating Curious, Courageous, and Engaged Citizens
November 12 NOTICE: Get the 2020-2021 Guidelines here!
The Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC) is a dynamic educational program for Maine middle and high school students that uses art to to build a bridge between the classroom and the world to create curious, courageous, and engaged citizens. SSC projects teach students that, no matter what age, they can be part of solving the challenges and problems they see around them.
SSC 2020-2021: Show US Who You Are
As Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) reflects on the past year and looks forward to the months ahead, we are asking students this year to focus on one of three critical themes - racial equity, climate change, and health care.
The Samantha Smith Challenge for 2020-2021 asks students to examine racial equity, climate change, or health care and use their voices , take action, and Show US Who You Are. AWTT portrait subjects model how the beliefs, voices, and actions of youth can influence important social justice issues. Check out:
Be like Them! Show US Who You Are!
"This project changed our lives!"
"Hope is power, power is hope. The Samantha Smith Challenge helped me feelpowerful and hopeful."
"The Samantha Smith Challenge inspiredus to take action on these issues that have been going on for decades and inspired us not to be couch potatoes."
"SSC provides students opportunities to participate in genuine learning and create authentic products. It provides them with real reasonsto participate in their schooling."
"We were able to connect with two truth tellers this year. These interviews really made a huge difference for the students who were able to participate in them."
I teach at one of the schools which Samantha Smith attended. Because of this, when I heard about thisSamantha Smith Challenge (click to sign up your students)I was excited to learn more.
I know my time with my students will have been worthwhile if, at the end of our class, each child has grown as a citizen. I want my students to learn to be aware, empathetic, and active. The Samantha Smith Challengefits right into this approach.
Robert Shetterly's portraits cut to the chase in a compelling way. Students could access the profound sentiments that these portraits represent.
Robert’s Americans Who Tell the Truth has become a distinctive and profound way of teaching American History and American Thought...His work will help us advance towards common understanding and tolerance.
During the 2013/2014 school year, teachers Karyn Field and Sharyn Hastings used the AWTT portraits and resources to help students analyze "themes related to scapegoating, intolerance and social strife." Students wrote poems, orchestrated press conference
I am a special and regular educator in Madison, WI. My students used your images to discuss how some people choose to do amazing things with their lives: some in big ways, some in small ways, but always by finding something they believe in.
Finally, I was shown people of all backgrounds who had made a difference; finally, I found people who were so normal, who I could relate to, and yet were so profound. Suddenly, there was no more excuse.
Includes resources, classroom activities, and a detailed step-by-step guide to participating in the 2020-2021 SSC