Bluebird Restoration Project (environment)
Flight 93 Memorial
At a time when we were all over come with emotion as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks on our country, the eighth grade students at Milton M. Somers Middle School, under the direction of Mr. Richard Ivanac and Ms. Shawn Watters, decided to create two memorials for Flight 93. This project became the avenue through which students were able to deal with their feelings in a positive way and served as a means of honoring those who lost their lives that fateful day. Ultimately, it also enabled us to display our unity as a country and the pride we all share for this great nation. The idea for this project took hold when the students in several classes began to express their feelings and views about the loss of friends and family members who were killed or injured in the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon on September 11th.
Our project served to meet multiple needs. Student collected donations to be given to the sponsoring organization of a 30-Hour Famine. Students pledged to fast for 30 hours in solidarity with people who don't have enough to eat, and to collect pledges for their 30-Hour famine to donate to an anti-hunger organization. During the famine period, students participated in three service projects. They recorded a textbook for a reading disabled student, attempted to make lap robes for a local nursing home, and provided entertainment as well as serving and getting to know some of the veterans of the Charlotte Hall Nursing Home. Seven sophomores, juniors, and seniors participated in this project.
Benjamin Stoddert Middle School students have filled a void in their community, by linking the senior citizen population and "future" leaders. Through visiting the local assisted living facility four times a year, students formed close relationships with the "memory lane" residents (Alzheimer patients) and plan to strive to continue their service to the community in years to come.
Featured project for November 2001: John Hanson Middle School was able to carry out Charles County's pilot Middle School Service-Learning Program in Science through a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. We received $4,100 to complete a wetland on school property. The project temporarily stores runoff from the back of the school, the front parking lots and athletic fields. The retained runoff will be allowed to recharge ground water and prevent torrents of water from eroding soil. In addition, the wetland will provide a habitat for wildlife to increase diversity and population counts.
Students collect, sort, cut and bundle coupons from the Sunday papers in an attempt to help alleviate the hardships of poverty. These coupons are then distributed to senior citizens centers, free health clinics and food pantries.
Among other projects, 9th grade special education students researched Alzheimer's Disease, created a partnership with the local Alzheimer's Association, then educated the school community about the disease and raised money for the Washington chapter. In addition, some students volunteered at the Association office to help the staff.
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