Healthy Me, Healthy You (Health)
Buddy Bags (literacy)
Inclusion Play Day
Pine Grove Middle School is a cluster school for students in the Functional Academic Learning Support Class and the Communication and Learning Support Classes. These classes contain students that have severe/profound disabilities and will earn a certificate of attendance. Inclusion Play Day increased disability awareness within the school and the community. This service-learning project was originally established by a former physical education teacher and has been ongoing for 11 years. She created this opportunity for the students based on her experience working with regular education and special education students.
Casey Cares and So Do We – Persuading for a Cause
Perry Hall Middle School students in conjunction with their Language Arts Non-Fiction Unit read, analyzed, and evaluated newspaper articles, websites, and news footage surrounding the Casey Cares Foundation and the fire that wiped out their offices and warehouse earlier in the summer. After contacting Casey Cares to find out how they could help, the students began learning about tone and persuasive letter writing. Students created persuasive letters that were sent to pizza places all over the state asking for gift certificates to help Casey Cares rebuild their Pizza and Movie Night program. The project culminated in a breakfast where the gift certificates were passed from the students to Casey Cares.
Disability Awareness Day
Pine Grove Middle School has a diverse culture which includes autistic students, deaf and hard of hearing students, and wheelchair bound students. During this special day, all sixth grade students are run through various simulations of different disabilities which include visual, attention deficit hyper activity disorder, cerebral palsy, wheelchair bound, autism, and deaf culture. After this day, students in reading and language arts go to the library and complete a research project on the disability of their choice. A report and a set of bookmarks are completed by all students. The bookmarks are distributed in the community to promote greater understanding and appreciation for differences.
Vessels of Hope
The "Vessels of Hope" project was developed originally when Baltimore County required all art teachers to give seventh graders five student service-learning hours. Student watched a video "Hunger in Maryland" and we discussed how we could end hunger in our community. We looked at contemporary and traditional recycled art for inspiration. Students created their vessel using all recycled objects. After the "vessels" were completed, students "sold" their artwork to their families for two canned goods with the "hope" of feeding the hungry in our community for the holiday.
"Inclusion Play Day" (featured program for May 2002) is a concept to address the need to make students aware of diversity. Seventh grade students' planned and designed activities and acted as Station Leaders or Peer Helpers to students with special needs who participated in various play day events. The students with special needs came from Pine Grove Middle School as well as other area schools in Baltimore County.
Pikesville High and Reisterstown Senior Center
The partnership between the Pikesville High School Concert Choir and the Reisterstown Senior Center began in 1989. It was formed in response to a need to provide an organized choral experience for senior citizens in an effort to provide meaningful and engaging activities for seniors. The Center hired a music teacher who met with citizens once each week to rehearse music selected by Dr. Disharoon as appropriate for the high school students and the senior citizens. The Intergenerational Chorus performs concerts at the school and the center. The chorus has also performed community concerts and for a Baltimore County Showcase of activities.
Pennies for Pasta
The entire school raised money for Leukemia in partnership with the Olive Garden and the Leukemia Society. Each homeroom had a representative that collected and counted. The community was encouraged to donate also, and students were asked to try to earn money for the collection in some manner. The collection took place over two weeks. Students raised over $7,000.00.
Grasses in the Classes
Approximately 120 students were involved in a project called "Grasses in the Classes" which is sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). The CBF provided our classroom with all of the equipment necessary for this project including the wild celery seeds. Students grew two tubs of wild celery grasses, over 50 plants each. The grasses were transplanted in June into a Tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The twenty students who monitored the grasses daily attended the transplantation field trip to Piney Run Park.
As coordinator for student service at Franklin High School for the last seven years, my students and I have been able to develop and become involved in various projects and activities. One project that continues to bring the community, parents, students and teachers together is our Meals on Wheels route. The route exits through the mutual efforts of parent drivers and students who deliver the meals daily. The students willingly meet this community need by providing meals to homebound seniors.
Our school, along with the county, has a service-learning curriculum-connected program in grades 6, 7, and 8. We also complete service projects as a group or grade level such as the Ronald McDonald Tab Collection, can food drives for local pantries, collections of items for a shelter, and peer mediation, etc. Individual teachers will complete projects with students or clubs separate from curriculum-connected service. Students also do service projects outside of school which must be approved before being eligible to qualify for service-learning hours.
Service-learning in our county is connected to the curriculum. School-based service-learning coordinators are responsible for overseeing curriculum-connected service and acting as a resource for individualized service-learning projects. Individual classroom-based projects include: The Ronald McDonald Collect a Tab Program, food drives, Adopt-a-Shelter, and recycling projects.
My students teach Spanish at nearby elementary schools. The continuing development and expansion of the Elementary Spanish Teaching Program which began with 22 students teaching grades 1 and 2 at Carroll Manor Elementary has now expanded to 52 students teaching grades 1-5 at Carroll Manor and White Oak Elementary Schools. At both schools, the high school students are providing a program in which elementary students are enriched by learning to speak another language. The lesson plans the high school students use for the program was developed by myself and six of my students. Each summer, this guide is updated from input and materials provided by students who have been involved in the program during the year. A Scope and Sequence listing the units, vocabulary to be taught and accompanying materials has been provided for each grade level. The high school students involved are using their language skills in a real life situation. They are also developing essential leadership, organizational and planning skills. The elementary schools served cannot afford to provide any language enrichment programs for their students.
Taking the lead from the 1988 Maryland Recycling Act, students at Pine Grove Middle School have focused their energy on the recycling habits of the 21234 zip code area. In a door to door campaign, students asked homeowners to save aluminum cans and call their network when a pickup is needed.
Students are involved in direct service-learning projects with a local nursing home and the Baltimore County Visitors and Conference Bureau. Students have been involved in indirect projects for Meals on Wheels. Advocacy projects are engaged in by 9th grade social studies classes and 10th and 12th grade English classes. In addition, we are trying to establish a Best Buddies program.
Raider Ghost of Hunger
Having assumed a new role as Student Government Association (SGA) Co-Sponsor, a new focus has emerged beyond my teaching program: That is to help Loch Raven regain its past prominence in the area of giving to people who are in need of food. A whole new approach was developed surrounding the idea of the Raider Ghost of Hunger haunting the school in costume. The preparation was to write a letter to the Ghost of Hunger or create an informational poster using hunger facts while taking the perspective of one those mentioned in the information provided. These letters were displayed for all to read. Students suffered through daily poems read by the Ghost of Hunger over the intercom, having the ghost visit homerooms to spur them on to greater giving (with daily counts of who was ahead of whom). They also were pinned with ghostly reminders (wearing a Raider Hat) when they had fed the face of hunger. When all was done, students guessed who the ghost was....they had such a hard time figuring out that the right answer was "anyone". SGA members and other volunteers accomplished all of these activities through committee work. When the poundage was recorded, we hoped that Loch Raven's "face" would look less hungry than it had in recent years.
1998: As an outgrowth of classroom study, students choose projects related to family and child development. This year students created a tutoring program in reading and one for ESOL students as well as crocheted a blanket for very ill children.
1996: This year service-learning is infused into the classroom. Students select projects based on topics of study and interests. These projects vary from class to class and from year-to-year. In the past we have done literary programs, tutoring in elementary schools, adoption of needy families, and advocacy for children and families.
1995: Connecting true caring for families and children with classroom theory is my objective. As societal issues and problems related to family/children are explored, students are led to think about what is being done and what needs to be done. At that point, students usually suggest that we do a project ("we could....!"). A project is chosen, researched and planned by groups and completed by all. Reflection takes a variety of forms. For example, last year, students adopted a shelter, collected children's books, visited and read to child residents.
1997: We have expanded our service-learning projects to include storm drain painting infused with our social science unit on the Chesapeake Bay. We also have service-learning project with the Johns Hopkins Hospital - Kids Helping Kids, and Our Daily Bread soup kitchen. We have completed our fifth year of service-learning with the Genesis ElderCare Nursing Center.
1996: As part of reading and citizenship, my 3rd grade students visit a nearby nursing home and read "Big Books," do projects and visit with residents. Through this project, students strengthen their reading and communication skills while discovering their personal power to make positive changes in their communities.
When at Cockeysville Middle school, special education students worked with regular education students to beautify their school's courtyard to promote school pride and teamwork. Students selected and planted plants together and maintained the courtyard throughout the year. Students also participated in the Special Olympics.
I sponsor several service-learning projects open to the entire school. These include: Meals on Wheels, Pets on Wheels, Young Parent Support Center, Adopt-a-Shelter, penpals with elementary school, tree planting, and tutoring. These activities are on-going. Other projects I have sponsored that are one time events include homeless shelter walk-a-thon, senior citizen prom, and adopt-a-family drives.
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