The first ever Share a Pencil Day takes place today, 17th May 2017 when 25,000 pupils in a range of schools up and down the country are being asked to share a pencil for a single lesson, an afternoon or the whole day to experience what learning is really like for many children across the globe.
The event is giving pupils the opportunity to learn about the issues faced by many children around the world trying to access an education while living in zones affected by conflict, natural disasters or extreme poverty, and who lack the basic tools and teachers they need to learn.
Evan Lewis the founder of Hope, the organisation behind Share a Pencil Day, said:“Education is the single most important thing a child can have to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and lead a better life. However, around 124 million children in the world are missing out on an education*, and many more have to share even the most basic tools for learning, like pencils.
Share a Pencil Day is a fun, interactive way for schools and children in the UK to get involved. Not only does this make children aware of the difficulties faced by others, but teachers also have to work around the constraints this creates.”
Tessa Munt, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Wells in Somerset, will be joining Evan Lewis at St Cuthbert’s School in Wells, Somerset today which is one of the schools taking part in Share a Pencil Day. "I’m delighted to attend the official Share a Pencil Day today at St. Cuthbert’s. I was lucky enough to witness a trial Share a Pencil Day a few weeks ago and saw for myself how engaged the children were. The day will help nurture children’s sense of global responsibility and give them an understanding that they can ‘be the change they wish to see in the world.’ Share a Pencil Day is hugely effective and it would be great to see more of this type of activity in schools.”
Share A Pencil Day is primarily to raise awareness of the educational issues that manychildren face globally. Schools and teachers can download lesson plans, films and posters to support learning on the day. Proceeds from the special Share a Pencil Day pencils go towards Hope’s Bright Futures mission in partnership with Plan International UK, supporting the charity’s education projects worldwide. Projects supported could include transforming the lives of girls in Kamuli, Uganda; helping children in Pakistan get an education, and the training of 275 female teachers in Sierra Leone.
Share A Pencil Day is most suited to children in years 5 to 10 but anyone can take part. Once teachers have registered their interest via https://www.hope.co.uk/share-a-pencil-day-sign-up-form they can access a host of resources to help them plan their Share a Pencil Day including lesson plans, short films and posters.
Facts and figures:
• Share a Pencil Day takes place today, 17th May 2017
• 40% of Syrian child refugees in Turkey are missing out on an education (Source: Justin Forsyth, UNICEF, Jan 2017)
• More than 31 million girls of primary school age are out of school. Of these 17 million are expected never to enter school (Source: UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013)
For more information visit https://www.hope.co.uk/share-a-pencil-day-sign-up-form Twitter: @hopepencils #ShareAPencilDay #PencilSelfie