NOW with Bill Moyers

Global Health
Take Action


The following ideas are adaptable classroom activities that encourage students to be active citizens. They are inspired by a conversation between Bill Moyers and Bill Gates from the 5/9/03 NOW WITH BILL MOYERS broadcast. (Note: A free transcript of this broadcast is available on the NOW Web site. Teachers may also tape the broadcast off-air and use it in the classroom for one year. Alternatively, programs are available for purchase from ShopPBS.)

1. Create An Invention to Support Global Health
What creative ideas do you have for combating disease? Think, perhaps, about an invention to clean water, educate masses of people who don't have access to technology, vaccinate a village, or detect disease before it has a chance to spread. The World Bank's Development Marketplace provides funding for groundbreaking projects that can help prevent disease and ease poverty. One past invention was an electronic nose that sniffs out tuberculosis (TB) and TB carriers, another used songs to teach literacy in India. Yet another invention provided a system of sending daily messages to TB patients to take their medication. For more information, review the Development Marketplace's Competition Guidelines.

3. Raise Money to Improve Health Conditions Worldwide
Students can support global health by holding a fundraising event or collecting donated items and then passing contributions on to appropriate charitable organizations. An Internet search provides lists of several organizations that may be of interest. One example is the Mennonite Central Committee, which gives instructions for making cash donations or for assembling relief kits that the MCC distributes to disaster victims worldwide.

4. Respond to Questions on Worldwide Health Concerns
Communicate with students from all over the globe! Young people from around the world have posted health-related questions online for others to respond to. Get involved in such online discussion at the World Bank and UNICEF Voices of Youth Web sites.

About the Author
Donna DeTommaso-Kleinert is an elementary physical education teacher at Hatfield Elementary School in the North Penn School District Lansdale, Pa. She has participated on the writing team for the Pennsylvania State Health and Physical Education Standards and coordinates and presents the new teacher induction program. She has been in the teaching profession for 20 years with experiences in elementary and secondary health and physical education and also as a learning coordinator of all the special area curricula. Presently she is enrolled in a curriculum and instruction program in the Department of Kinesology at Temple University. Her proudest accomplishments have come from motherhood and marriage.