Growing Us Through Growing the Community – Jolayne Haller, North High School
Students who are Twenty-First Century scholars are encouraged to participate in a service learning project each year. After brainstorming several community needs, the group decided that hunger was one of the biggest needs in our community. The students chose the Tri-State Food Bank and the Potter’s Wheel as the two organizations they wanted to help.
First, the students will conduct a class competition to collect the items that the Food Bank requested: peanut butter, soup, and microwaveable entrees. The students plan to conduct a freshman class competition with the homeroom collecting the most items earning a free jeans/sweatpants day. The students will match the homeroom donating the most items up to $75.00. Students will research and contact vendors to purchase the most items possible. Students will also travel to the food bank to help assemble the items that are donated for the weekend back-pack program.
At the Potter’s Wheel, the students are going to help in two areas. First, the Potter’s Wheel has identified needing dish towels, baby wipes and snacks. These items will be included in the class competition. Next, in conjunction with Earth Day, students are going to organize and complete a landscaping project at the Potter’s Wheel and are also going to coordinate an annual neighborhood clean-up. The students will also deliver flowers to households in the neighborhood for the residents to plant.
Inspiring to Change our Community – Sally Hale, Bosse High School
“Inspiring to Change Our Community” provides students in the Moderate Cognitive Disabilities (MoCD) program an opportunity to use their existing curriculum and extend it into the community. With this project, students will shop for needed supplies, make the items, then deliver the items to the designated facilities. In each part of the project, students will participate in daily lessons which will be aligned with the curriculum’s state standards via the Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting (ISTAR.)
The first part of the project will help increase awareness for autism as students plan an activity for National Autism Awareness month in April, 2014. Students will make “calming jars” for five EVSC classrooms who also have students with autism: Glenwood’s Severe and Profound Disabilities programs (K-5 and 6-8,) Glenwood’s Moderate Disabilities program (6-8,) and Bosse’s Severe/Profound Disabilities programs (2 classrooms, 9-12.) The second part of the project encourages students to celebrate “National Pet Month” in May. Students will make “no sew” blankets for the Vanderburgh Humane Society (VHS) to give to families who adopt a puppy or a kitten. The third part of the project involves students making homemade hand lotion for residents of “The Protestant Home” for the elderly.
Gateway to Literacy – Erinn Jankowski, Reitz High School
Students at Reitz who are currently enrolled in the Gateway remediation English course, who have been identified as at-risk due to test scores and grades in English, will be partnering with Mrs. Brunson’s West Terrace (a feeder school) kindergarten class to research and prepare literacy stations focused on basic early comprehension skills and connecting reading to writing. The aim is to provide teens an opportunity to have positive experiences surrounding reading and to understand the valuable early reading skills that bring success that they can share with their present and future families to strengthen our entire community. We hope to prepare 4 visits for each of the two Gateway classes- for a total of 8 visits.
Mrs. Brunson and I will work together to outline appropriate reading skills and strategies that are proven through research and prepare the Gateway students to be the classroom leaders of the activities. Instructional materials for the teens will focus on grade-level reading, writing, and speaking standards while learning about strategies through on-line articles, sharing written blogs, and practicing presentation and comportment skills. All of the literacy stations will be in-line with the kindergarten standards and concepts, reinforcing Mrs. Brunson’s goals with her students.
English Language Learners for College – Svitlana Reynolds, Plaza Park International Prep Academy
The students will start with developing their individual high school graduation plans using IndianaCareerExplorer.com. They will also use the College Readiness feature available through the Achieve3000 reading program to assess their current ability and to set a goal. They will explore a number of colleges in Indiana and take virtual tours. After that they will write an essay and make a display about one of the colleges. This project will be shared by them with parents, other students, and community members at the College Night. The international students from USI will do a presentation for our students about their own paths to college and the programs that are available. At the end of the school year, the same USI students will guide our group through the USI campus tour. The middle school students will interview a number of community members who received a college degree and are using them in their careers. These interviews will be done in person and via Skype. During this project the students will use computers to research the issue and will develop their own website using Weebly.com. Through the duration of the project they will continue to populate the website with new resources. The information will be shared with other students, parents, and community members at the College Night that will be held in partnership with HOLA and Juan Diego Center. At the end of the school year our middle school students will go on a tour of USI campus.
Healthy and Happy – Kendra Smith, Academy for Innovative Studies-Diamond Ave. Campus
I am applying for this service learning grant to support a service learning project that will be implemented in three classrooms in two different schools. Our students in a service learning class have already collaborated and decided that obesity is the largest problem facing our tri-state area—Evansville was, after all, deemed the most obese city in the USA two years ago. With that in mind, students will research all elements of wellness. This includes obesity, nutrition, fitness, eating disorders, and metal health. As part of the research students will calculate their own BMI’s, cook healthy food for a local shelter, and create their own fitness videos.
Once all research is completed, students will create a resourceful website that will essentially be a one-stop-shop for anyone who is interested in obtaining more information about being healthy. This website will include healthy recipes, fitness videos, links to helpful agencies, educational handouts, and much more! Once the website is completed, an entrepreneurship class will develop a business and marketing plan for sharing our website with the school, the community, and the rest of the world. This class will also be creating information brochures and pamphlets to pass out to area schools. The students involved in this project will also be going to a classroom at a local elementary school once a week to teach the students there how to be healthy.
A majority of our students are extremely disconnected from their community and are significantly below grade level in reading and mathematics (our entire high school averages a 3rd grade math level and a 4th grade reading level). To bring students up to grade level, this project incorporates many different scholarly disciplines. In the entrepreneurship class, English and grammar are emphasized when the students are creating the brochures. Also, math plays a huge role in entrepreneurship when the students are developing their business plans. Math is also used in the service learning class when the students calculate their BMI’s, heart rates, etc. Reading is highly emphasized in the service learning class when we go to the elementary school because our students assist the elementary students read materials on fitness and wellness.
Special Olympics is Special to Central – Sherry Dockery, Central High School
This project will be a culminating activity for the Central High School marketing students which will require them to use the knowledge they have gained in their marketing classes during their junior and senior years. Since we have several Central High School students who will participate in the Special Olympics Track and Field events, we would like to partner with Special Olympics Vanderburgh County to provide funding for uniforms and to also volunteer to help at their practices and events.
For this cap-stone project, the marketing students will split into teams and brainstorm ways their group could raise funds. Each group will prepare a presentation on their ideas and determine which one they want to focus on for this project. They will then write their marketing plan, present it, and begin.
In addition to the financial piece of this activity, students will log the number of hours they volunteer at the Special Olympic events and keep a journal of these activities. Throughout this project, students will evaluate themselves and their peers. They will write news releases when appropriate and will keep financial documentation of their success. At the end of the project, each group will present their results.
Helfrich Peace Corps – Angela Greenwell, Helfrich Park STEM Academy
Students will read The President has Been Shot and research the accomplishments of John F. Kennedy. Upon researching, they will learn a great deal about the Peace Corps.
After discussing ideas with students, they had the idea to create their own volunteer group to help with three community needs. Students will divide themselves into three groups. Chairs will be decided upon and each group will create a help day to help the community.
One group will plan, implement, and participate in a Soup Kitchen at St. John’s Episcopal Church (downtown Evansville) with the assistance of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. This group will purchase food, plan a meal, and recruit volunteers to help with the Soup Kitchen.
Another group will plan and implement a community clean-up day. Students will recruit volunteers, collect garbage bags, and organize disposal of trash within the surrounding Helfrich Park neighborhoods.
Lastly, a third group will organize and implement a cookies and cram session before finals and the ending of the grading period for Helfrich Park students.