We live in a world with many threats and challenges; opioid deaths, hatred, prejudice, addiction, bullying, mass murders, climate catastrophes, gender bias, suicide, voting rights, gun control, global warming, pollution, poverty, etc.

There are many government and private programs that attempt to deal with these issues. Still, the vast majority of these programs address the symptoms and not the root cause.

Since public education is critical to understanding how democracy works and the need for civic responsibility, it is ideal for students to address the social challenges (above).

Research has found that learning increases when students are engaged and processing. They not only retain more information, they understand concepts and the nature of social issues.

Utilizing Project-Based Learning (PBL), school districts can include social entrepreneurship in their schools, developing positive self-awareness, encouraging teamwork and cooperation, and improving self-esteem and leadership skills.

The key to success in developing social entrepreneurs is to empower students to be active in the learning process by identifying a social issue, developing a strategic plan, implementing it, and creating community projects. Then, given the support of the teacher/advisor, the students create a way to make a difference and help others.

We have an after school program in Medford, The Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (CCSR), that develops social entrepreneurs who work to make the world a better place to live. Please consider creating a similar program in your school district www.medfordccsr.org

Rich Trotta

Andover, Mass.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1