Samantha Smith Challenge

A note from Connie Carter and Americans Who Tell the Truth ….

I hope that you had a great holiday break and are relaxed and taking on the new year with your usual vigor and enthusiasm. I am excited to write to you about this year’s Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC). While the essence of the SSC remains the same, we have added some additional components that will give you and your students an opportunity to build an even stronger bridge between the classroom and the world.


Please take a look at the following additions to our website:

  • introductory activities to help you and your students build a foundation of activism by incorporating Americans Who Tell the Truth into your Samantha Smith Challenge project.
  • EngagEd, lesson plans created by AWTT portrait subjects based on their experience, knowledge and their everyday work as activists for social, economic, and environmental fairness
  • resources that we will continue to add in the next 3 months about topics that will support you and your students as you take on this year’s challenge

I also want to share with you a few of the important dates for this year’s Samantha Smith Challenge.

February 1: Deadline for signing up for this year’s SSC (You do not need to have identified your issue by then; you only need to let us know that you plan to participate.)

April 1: Deadline for submitting the issue your students will address for the SSC

May 1: Deadline for submitting videos and progress report to AWTT

JUNE 6: Samantha Smith Challenge Celebration for ALL participants – time and

location to be announced

I hope that xxx Middle School will participate in the Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC) this year. You can register right now at


Please let me know if I can answer any questions or concerns you may have. As we did last year, we are hoping to visit all of the SSC schools to learn more about your projects and to offer any assistance.

Thanks so much for all you are doing for education! We look forward to working with you as part of this year’s Samantha Smith Challenge!

Contact information: Connie Carter  


About Jill Spencer

I taught middle school for many years, and now I consult with schools across the country and internationally in the areas of curriculum and instruction, including technology integration. Please also check out my blog about middle school teaming at Other publications include: Teaming Rocks! Collaborate in Powerful Ways to Ensure Student Success Everyone’s Invited! Interactive Strategies That Engage Young Adolescents 10 Differentiation Strategies for Building Prior Knowledge
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One Response to Samantha Smith Challenge

  1. Valerie Sprague says:

    Would this be open to 4th graders?

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