Operation Instilling School Pride
In 2004, my members wanted to focus their student service-learning projects on our school community. Our school was going through a transition period. At the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year, we had hired 22 new teachers, three new assistant principals, and one new principal. My students felt that it was particularly important for the students in our school to take pride in their school in the midst of all this change. The NJHS members decided to start “Operation Instilling School Pride.” One of the projects they selected was to paint all the bathrooms in the school with different themes chosen by the school community. The bathroom facelift had multi-purposes: to cover the graffiti in the bathroom, to have the bathrooms reflect the personality of our student body, and to instill pride in our school community.
2nd grade students at Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School completed a service-learning project performance task called, "Houses That Help," which raised $980.00 to purchase Christmas gifts for children in the community who were less fortunate. Best practices:
Providing children who are less fortunate with gifts for Christmas was a real need in our community. It also taught children that not everyone is as fortunate as they are and reinforced the gift of giving to others.
Participating in the auction by making Gingerbread Houses and purchasing gifts strengthened the students math skills. Other objectives were met by the students reading and writing letters.
Through this experience students felt what it is like to help individuals from our community that are in need. One second grader made the comment one day that he learned Christmas was not about getting but about giving.
From the intended recipient children's' description, our 2nd and 5th graders were able to select the type of gifts they thought those particular children would want for Christmas. They then purchased the gifts with the money raised and wrapped them.
The community partners in this project were the children and families who received the gifts.
The students followed a set of instructions to develop a Gingerbread House with their fifth grade book buddies. After completing the task of developing Gingerbread Houses, we auctioned them off at our Gingerbread Auction. The auction raised $980.00, which was used to purchase Christmas Gifts for children in need in the community
Students were given a brief description of the eight children that they would be helping and discussed poverty issues.
Charlotte Hall Veteran's Visit
Over 100 5th grade students participated in a project that provided friendship and social interaction for the veterans living at the Charlotte Hall Veteran's Home. The students visited the veterans and invited them to events at our school, made cards, listened and learned the wealth of knowledge the veterans were able to share.
Writing to Read
Students were involved in creating and publishing children's books. The students then took their books to local feeder schools and read to the elementary students. In addition, the books were donated to the elementary schools.
1998: My students work with adult daycare centers in St. Mary's County as part of the replication site model "Serving Seniors". My students also are making personal hygiene bags for the men's' and women's' shelters. In addition to those projects, we are helping any others who's lives have been affected by economic and disaster hardships.
1996: My students are serving by assisting at the local nursing home, with bingo, crafts and developing friendships with the elderly.
1998: Great Mills High School has community partnerships with Historic St. Mary's City and Point Lookout State Park in Southern Maryland. Our projects combine Chesapeake Bay Environmental issues and community historical preservation. Students have "adopted a swamp" along the St. Mary's River and are "building bridges" through protected wetlands. Students incorporate grant writing skills into their service-learning experience. Mr. Davies class is recognized as a Maryland State Model Service-Learning Program -- adopted a wetlands. Please contact us for more information.
Princess and the Penguin
The nursing center in the next town needed help connecting residents to youth in an effort to brighten the resident's days. In response to this need, our 3rd grade team selected our best 30 workers to prepare and present a play at the nursing center. The play, the "Princess and the Penguin," culminated the students' integrated study of weather and animals. This project also required students to use their writing, researching, and public speaking skills.
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