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Westland’s Social Responsibilities Class studies about people throughout their life span and their roles and responsibilities as a family member, a community member and a member of the planet Earth. They were studying Hunger Issues (Oregon was listed #1 in Hunger) and they wanted to do more than the school food drive. Students observed food waste in the school's cafeteria and then designed a project “Food for Thought” to help feed those in need.
Student quote: “We decided one way to get food to hungry people is to collect planned over cafeteria food and donate it to Gleaners, who then deliver it daily to the people in need.” They subsequently extended this project to other schools/districts throughout the state. Westland students influenced policy changes at the District, county, and state to allow leftover food to leave the school building. Students have presented this project to other schools and they have joined “Food for Thought.” Food for Thought was presented at the state Green Schools Summit and there is hope that it will be statewide! Students learned that they can make a difference.
Punahou 6th Grade garden goals:
1. Give students the opportunity to grow and taste new foods
2. Greater connection with and appreciation of where our food comes from
3. Appreciation of nature - growing cycles, successes and failures
4. Opportunity to learn outside of a traditional classroom 5. Support Punahou School's 2016 challenge of Sustainability
a. Make healthy food choices
b. Reduce solid waste
6. To make curricular connections between the garden and content areas Some essential questions for our garden:
1.Can our garden support and sustain a family of 4? What can we successfully grow in our garden?
2.What connections can we make between the garden and our study of botany and plant systems?
3.What connections can be made between the garden and literature?
4.How do we share our knowledge gained from gardening with others?
5.What kind of fruits and vegetables did immigrants to Hawaii bring to the garden? How did those foods influence the culture and diet of people in Hawaii?
Through education, service, and awareness, Hurst Middle School students lead a community effort for wetland conservation. Anticipated outcomes of the project are increased participation of students in environmental projects, increased awareness of wetland values and challenges locally and globally, and a greater emphasis on the classroom study of environmental issues. Students are all engaged with activities that provide real-life connections and applications. Activities are 100% hands-on, integrated across the curriculum, with thorough reflection tying all of their experiences together with the Grade-Level Expectations (GLE).
My primary purpose was for students to see the connections between the needs of the community and the opportunities available to them to help via the garden. In regards to the students, I believe the purpose was to develop a sense of efficacy where students have an explicit experience with participating in social change. Before each of the service activities, students commented that they didn't think the activity would matter; they had different thoughts after. From the community perspective, Valerie Schwarz of the Northern Berkshire Food Project is always looking for community - especially youth - to get involved with her organization. I believe her purpose is for students to contribute in a way that will make them feel important. Our essential questions were: why should we help, why is food an important issue right now in our community, and what do gardens have to do with me?
Our questions were:
1. How can we best help Haiti? 2. How can we help our isolated rural community understand the need to help Haiti? 3. How can we get every aspect of our town involved in the process? 4. How can we teach others about Haiti?
Our primary purpose was to educate our students and their parents about breast cancer prevention. We also wanted to raise money for our local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Because our double-period English classes are designed for those students who are reading below grade level, the cross-age tutoring partnership was an excellent opportunity for our students both to experience success as readers while working with children's books and to serve as mentors to younger children in their community. As teachers we believed the best chance for our students to master the strategies we had taught them would be by teaching those strategies to someone else. The cross-age tutoring partnership gave them the opportunity to share their reading expertise with a young child and to gain confidence as readers. The first graders also benefited from the relationship they developed with their "big buddies" as they began to realize that the high school students they encountered in their neighborhood were not to be feared; rather, they were to be trusted and admired. Kelvyn Park is a neighborhood high school. Some students see Kelvyn Park as a school of last resort if they do not get into selective enrollment high schools. Our ability to connect to and build relationships with pupils in our feeder schools is essential to attracting neighborhood kids to our school. We believe the Cross-Age Literacy Project creates some of those important relationships.
Primary Purpose for:
The Teacher: Initially, the purpose was to beautify an overgrown space and to provide a green space for youth to utilize (Alder is a building surrounded by concrete and open grass, in a neighborhood with no green space). Over time, the primary purpose has grown into the garden functioning as a space where youth have ownership, experience hands-on learning, grow healthy habits, develop a relationship with nature, and foster a sense of community. The purpose of our Plant Start Donation Project in particular is to teach youth about plant life-cycle, healthy habits, and giving back to community and families.
The Students: Through involvement in Garden Club, youth participate in learning that supports their school-day lessons and is built around state benchmarks. They have a space to play and to call their own, and they can get dirty. All the garden planning is completed by the students, and all the art and decoration in the garden is created by the students. Students have opportunity to taste healthy foods that they grew themselves, with the intention that this taste for vegetables will encourage healthy nutritional habits. The garden also helps to teach skills like teamwork, planning, sharing, and patience. Through the Plant Start Donation Project, students learn about the life cycle and resource needs of plants, and about giving to their community.
The Community: The garden is managed by true collaborative effort with: the leadership of two local nonprofits; support of the school and district; involved community parents; business support; and student input. Additionally, through the Community Garden, community needs of hunger and family involvement at the school are addressed on a small, personal scale. Families work side by side with their neighbors and gain access to free, healthy food. The gain from our Plant Start Donation Project in particular is a connection to the school as more than just an educational resource, and access to a free, healthy, empowering food source.
A favorite question we ask of students:
"If you could grow this seed into a plant to take home for yourself or to give away to a person who might need that plant to get food, which would you want to do?" All kids so far have picked that they wanted to grow plants for families who needed that resource.