Recap of September events

I know it’s been a long time since my last post, but I hope you are all in touch with our social media platforms. Because that’s where all the daily updates are happening! Click the Twitter and Facebook icons on the top right corner of this page–if you haven’t already done so–and follow us. So far, this semester has been flying by, and our club has already completed its assigned campaign initiative through events we participated in this past month. Here is an overview of what we did and what we have accomplished.

Penn State Brandywine Club Fair – #FairChocolate Photo Contest

We were able to recruit new members and reach out to our fellow student body on our Fair Trade campaign. In doing so, we were also able to snap some pictures of them enjoying Fair Trade chocolate and participate in this year’s #FairChocolate contest. Take a look at our happy students!

Penn State Brandywine Students

Penn State Brandywine Student

(more pictures can be found on our Twitter page!)

Constitution Day/Battle of the Bands – Penn State Brandywine Civic and Community Engagement

At this event, Civic Engagement collaborated with Fair Trade Trailblazers to bring an all-American celebration for Constitution day. Students munched on Fair Trade candy bars while listening to a band of our school’s students jam out. It was an exciting event and the candy bars really brought in new interest to our table.

Fair Trade Candy Bars

Overall, Fair Trade Trailblazers is working hard to wheel in students into acknowledging our campaign. Tomorrow during Common Hour, Fair Trade Trailblazers will be hosting our first meeting at 208 Tomeszko. Please come join us in hopes of a productive semester of Fair Trade!

Contributed by Lisa Chun

Fair Trade Student Intern

Mission Accomplished: Fair Trade Art Sale for Fresh Artists

On Thursday, February 21st, The Walden School joined forces with the Fair Trade Trailblazers at Penn State Brandywine to host the Fair Trade Art Sale for Fresh Artists. The event was a huge success, raising over $375 to support art programs in Chester schools and engaging the community in a vibrant discussion on all things fair trade!

Colorful artwork made by K-8 Walden School students to describe the role that fair trade in their worlds!

The event began with a short presentation on the important work that Fresh Artists does in the community. Here is a short feature clip from 6abc news on Fresh Artists:

With hearts full of excitement and anticipation, we finally moved on to the art display, where all the students stood by their artwork, explaining the meaning of their pieces to everyone who passed by. We all even had a chance to enjoy fair-trade and Fresh-Artists themed cupcake cakes!

“Home Run for Fresh Artists!”

The event was such a great way to keep the conversation going about the importance of fair trade in the community – the enthusiasm and creativity of The Walden School students brought fresh energy to the dialogue!

Here are a few more pictures from the event:

Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Sciences & director of the PSU-BWFair Trade Trailblazers with Carly Tolson, Assistant Head Of The Walden School

Penn State Brandywine Students enjoying their newly-purchased fair trade artwork!

Art supplies collected by the Penn State Brandywine Community for Fresh Artists

PSU-BW student & Media Fair Trade Intern, Aimee Ralph, with the donations collected at the end of the day!

Contributed by Fair Trade Intern, Labanya Mookerjee

The Walden School Fair Trade Announcement

If you did not make it to the Media Theatre on the evening of December 17, please allow us to share a recap with you of a very special evening.  On this chilly Monday evening, Labanya Mookerjee and I headed to The Walden School‘s Holiday Sing-A-Long to hear the preschool, elementary, and middle school students perform some beautiful songs.  We thoroughly enjoyed hearing these children and seeing them perform songs such as Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney, Hanukkah Festival, and The Peace Song.

But looking down the front row of the theater, anyone in the Fair Trade community would have known that something else was going to happen this evening – something significant, something exciting!  Seated down the row were myself and Labanya of Penn State Brandywine, Elizabeth Killough of the Media Fair Trade Town Committee, Hal Taussig (Media’s Fair Trade pioneer), Mary Le Fever (Walden School’s founder), Monica Simpson of the Media Borough Council… and the list goes on!


The evening started with Walden’s Head of School, Mary McKeon (pictured above, left), and Assistant Head of School, Carly Tolson (pictured above, center), making an announcement that (drumroll, please….) The Walden School has been officially granted status as the nation’s first Fair Trade School for pre-K through 8th grade!  Monica Simpson came on to the stage to make the presentation of the official certificate from Fair Trade Universities (who oversees all school campaigns).

To view a video of the Fair Trade announcement, please click here.

Congratulations, The Walden School!  Penn State Brandywine looks forward to connecting and collaborating with you on future Fair Trade awareness, education, and advocacy events.

– Contributed by Dr. Laura Guertin

The Walden School visit, with a Fair Trade show-and-tell

On November 14th, The Walden School in Media, PA, recieved their certificate declaring them a Fair Trade school! This makes The Walden School the first Fair Trade elementary school in the nation!  The next day Dr. Guertin, Aimee Ralph, Lavanya Mookerjee, Zanya Stephenson, and I (Louis Donaghue) stopped by to give The Walden School’s students a presentation on Fair Trade. Once we got to the school, we found out that not only would we be presenting to the students, but that Hal Taussig would also be attending our presentation. Hal (seen in the photo below with our Nittany Lion) has been at the front of the Fair Trade movement in America since day one, and he is the reason Media, PA, is the first Fair Trade town in America. There certainly was a large amount of pressure added to our presenters due to Hal’s pressence, but it was really a honor to meet him and show him the impact of his hard work in his community.

The format of our presentation at The Walden School was to do a skit where Dr. Guertin was the teacher and the rest of us were students in her class, and that day was Fair Trade Show and Tell. We each brought in a Fair Trade product to talk about. First, Lavanya brought in a Dolma Fair Trade scarf and some jewelry made from the tagua nut by Minga Fair Trade Imports, then Aimee came in wearing her favorite banana suit to talk about Fair Trade bananas. Next, I came in with a Senda Athletics Fair Trade soccer ball, and lastly, the Nittany Lion arrived to hand out stickers we custom made. The kids were great and asked some fantastic questions about Fair Trade.

Thanks to everyone at Walden School for letting us visit and talk to your awesome students. We are very happy to have another Fair Trade school in the area! And thank you to Hal Taussig for coming out to see us – you made this experience even more special.

Contributed by Louis Donaghue, Fair Trade Intern


Hand In Hand Soap talk @ Penn State Brandywine!

On Tuesday, November 13, at 11:30AM in the Tomezsko Classroom Building at Penn State Brandywine, co-founder Bill Glaab from Hand In Hand Soap came and talked to our students about his company. Hand In Hand Soap is a specialty soap company that uses Fair Trade ingredients in its product, and donates a bar of soap to a child living in Haiti every time you buy a bar of their high quality products. Bill and Courtney Glaab started Hand In Hand Soap less than two years ago, and the company has been growing ever since. Hand In Hand Soap focuses on donating their soap to Haiti because of the damage done to the country’s infrastructure as a result of recent natural diasters, including Hurricane Sandy. Because clean water is such a hard resource to have access to right now in Haiti, hygiene is extremely important when it comes to staying disease-free. And the worst part is the people who often suffer the most are children, with death tolls extremely high due to things like cholera which could be prevented with something as simple as a bar of soap. It is Hand In Hand’s vision to one day extend their reach to all parts of the globe in need.
Hand in Hand Soap seminar

Bill’s presentation at Penn State Brandywine focused on how Hand In Hand started and the company’s mission of providing people with sanitation challenges with the basic means to live healthier lives. Students also picked Bill’s brain for details and asked questions including how to run a small business such as his, what it has meant to him to be involved in such an impactful organization, and how do you manage to work side by side with your significant other. Bill was very open and rewarding as a speaker, he was not afraid to talk about past mistakes and life changing moments in his career.

Hand in Hand Soap seminar

Afterwards Bill sat down and had lunch with a small group of us while we casually talked about the influence of people like him and his wife. I think everyone walked away with something valuable after meeting with Bill, whether it was marketing tips, learning about Fair Trade, or becoming inspired to do something great yourself. Thanks to Courtney and Bill for helping further spread Fair Trade.

Contributed by Louis Donaghue, Fair Trade Intern