Earth Day Celebration
During the spring of the 2004-05 school year, North Dorchester Middle School students were studying the history of Earth Day in social studies and learning about our environment in life sciences. As a team, the math and language arts teacher and I decided to incorporate all subject matters into a service-learning project to celebrate Earth Day.
John R. Marsh Cancer Center Walk-a-Thon
The entire 7th grade at Smithsburg Middle School (232 students) took on and completed a very energetic service-learning project. They completed a 6K walk-a-thon at Antietam National Battlefied to raise money for the John R. Marsh Cancer Center in Washington County Maryland. It was not just a walk-a-thon though, the students took ownership of the project from beginning to end, and that is what made it so unique! On a beautiful October day we completed our walk and in November the students presented a check for over $2,500.00 to the cancer center.
This is not the usual classroom project that is built by connecting service with classroom experiences and curriculum. I was confronted with the need for educating students about student service-learning (SSL), which was at an all time minimum required level at our school. I choose to start a Service Club after my first year in the SSL advisor’s position. Its inception began two years ago by connecting with the REACH Cold Weather Shelter and offering our students an opportunity to serve meals to people who are homeless. After engaging a group of 25 students in this project the stage was set for starting a Service Club. Their goal for the year was to advocate for SSL through a variety of projects and invite the entire student population to become involved in these projects.
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