This is the fourth year a group of terrific, socially conscious kids (ages 14-18) have created educational skits and activities to present to religious school children throughout the greater Nashua, New Hampshire area. Their idea is simple: to both teach elementary school age children about world poverty and hunger, and to inspire them to put their hearts and soles into action by joining in the Nashua, New Hampshire, CROP Hunger Walk.
This dynamic group of interfaith students has worked diligently doing research on the impact of poverty and hunger, as well as the inaccessibility of clean water, on families around the world. With the information they gather from CROP Hunger Walk materials, such as from Making Poverty History: Hunger Activities that Work!, they listen to each other’s ideas and find creative solutions for developing their experiential activities and scripts, all with minimal adult input.
According to this year’s advisor, Patricia Harris, Minister of Christian Education at the First Church, United Church of Christ in Nashua, the youth drama group has been a youth-led effort from the beginning, with all area faith communities invited to send their interested youth to a start-up gathering in the summer. There are adult advisors on hand, but the kids take responsibility for writing the skits, rehearsing, gathering any props, etc. The adult advisors help to set up rehearsal places and times, and coordinate the drama group’s appearances in various faith communities.
This season, the group performed a new play called, “Jeopardy (a slightly CROPed version),” written by senior Cameron Gallant, who also directs. Cameron says, “I have been involved in the group for two years, and enjoy it immensely, because it allows me to convey important information about our local CROP Hunger Walk and Church World Service while presenting in a public situation. I have always liked public speaking and creative writing because the possibilities through these two mediums are limitless. This year, our CROP Hunger Walk drama group provided me with the opportunity to combine both of these mediums and to catalyze participation in the CROP Hunger Walk by spreading the general message and informing potential walkers about CWS.”
Carolyn Marquis, another senior in the group and co-author of last year’s skit, agrees. “I’ve been in this group since it began four years ago, and we make new skits each year so that people don’t get bored with them. Being in this group has been such a great experience for me because it’s allowed me to support a worthy cause by performing fun skits. I love when the kids get excited about the skits and the activities that we do with them, because it’s great to see their interest in the CROP Hunger Walk.”
A video of one of their first performances from a few years ago is available on here, followed by these words: “When our children endeavor to take on the responsibility of healing our broken world, it is our responsibility as adults to do all we can to support their noble efforts.”
Amy Porter is Associate Director for the CWS New England region.