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Image from the story Create a Directory of Local Social Services for Youth

Target Grade Levels:
Grades 7-12

The Activity
Video Discussion Questions
Taking It Further
Connections to Curriculum Standards

The Activity

Show students where India is on a map. Tell students that hundreds of thousands of children in India are homeless and live on the street, where many receive no education and are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation by unregulated employers, abduction, and hunger.

To see how this problem is being addressed in the Indian city of Vijayawada, watch the FRONTLINE/World story, India: A New Life (length: 16:57) and talk about student responses to the Video Discussion Questions below.

Next, have students find out what types of organizations and social services are available in your community for youth who need help with issues such as depression, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, hunger, abuse at home, rape, homelessness, etc. Your schoolís guidance counselor, blue pages in the telephone directory, state departments for health and social services, and city Web sites are good sources of such information. Help your class create a social services directory that organizes this information clearly for youth and summarizes the services available for each type of problem. Have students distribute it to as many youth as possible. Point out that in doing so, they are acting similar to the peer educators in the video who guide youth in trouble to those who can help.

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Video Discussion Questions

Focus student viewing of India: A New Life (length: 16:57) with the following questions:

  • What are some of the reasons that so many children live on the street in the Indian city of Vijayawada?
  • How is Father Koshy’s shelter for children funded?
  • What services are provided to youth at Father Koshy’s shelter?
  • Why is it sometimes difficult to pull children away from street life?
  • Describe Father Koshy’s peer educator program.


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Taking it Further

Invite a guest speaker to your classroom who provides social services to youth in your community and can tell students about the most common problems faced by young people in your area. Have this speaker also share his background and why he chose his profession. Compare the speakerís experience with that of Father Koshy, as described in an interview he did with FRONTLINE/World.

Connections to Curriculum Standards

These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge, a compilation of content standards and benchmarks for K-12 curriculum by McRel (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning).

Behavioral Studies, Standard 4:
Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions.

Business Education, Standard 15:
Knows unique characteristics of an entrepreneur

Level IV, Benchmark 2:
Knows that entrepreneurship relates to the capacity to take responsibility for one’s own future, to initiate creative ideas, develop them, and to carry them through into action in a determined manner.

Geography, Standard 10:
Understands the nature and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics.

Language Arts, Standard 9:
Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media.

Life Work, Standard 8: Operates effectively within organizations.

Level IV, Benchmark 2:
Understands the extent to which organizational values are compatible with personal values.
World History, Standard 44:
Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world.

World History, Standard 45:
Understands major global trends since World War II.

Level IV, Benchmark 2:
Understands causes of economic imbalances and social inequalities among the world's peoples and efforts made to close these gaps.

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