In the Real World—Service in Action
What can happen when school staff participate and encourage students to take an active role in service? A whole lot!
Teachers Lisa Burns and Maria Mair from North Junior High in Brockton, Massachusetts, share their experience working with students on after-school service learning projects. Self-dubbed “Kids Take Action,” the group of 7th and 8th graders have already planned and completed a dozen projects. The group set a goal of one project every month during the school year, and they are actually doing it!
Lisa notes that the staff and administration are very proud of these young people.
Following is a list of “Kids Take Action” projects:
September 11, 2008
The entire school body walked the school grounds for 30 minutes carrying flags and posters to remember lives lost on 9/11, honoring past and present veterans, and celebrating American freedom. The kids also put together an assembly with a patriotic poetry reading and presentation by a military service person.
Solicited businesses to donate bulbs and planted over 600 daffodil bulbs around the front of the school.
Ran a book drive and collected over 800 used children’s and teen books for Reach Out and Read, part of the Brockton Hospital children's and youth outreach program.
Visited a local nursing home and wrote holiday cards with the residents for their families and friends.
Collected 80–90 hats, gloves, and socks for a local shelter.
Designed 100 posters of “fabulous fun facts” that lined the halls of the school for the student body to enjoy.
Visited a local nursing home and designed scrapbooks with the residents for saving activity photos to share with family when they visit.
Put together two contests with English and art department teachers for the Freedom Walk: patriotic poetry to be judged by community business partners in May, and patriotic art to be judged by the student body. Artwork will go on Freedom Walk T-shirts, and poetry (top 5) to be read on 9/11/09 and printed in the school yearbook.
Took up a collection of small games, puzzles, playing cards, etc., to send to wounded soldiers at a Washington, D.C., hospital.
Teachers vs. Students volleyball game to raise funds for Freedom Walk T-shirts, school grounds cleanup, and Freedom Walk preparations.
“Kids Take Action” Summer Newsletter, highlighting the school year in actions and filled with summer safety tips.
September 11, 2009: Freedom Walk
Event to include a neighboring school.
October 2009: Red Ribbon Week