What is Service Learning?
Service Learning is a class offered by our counselors every Tuesday during RTI. Teachers refer students to the class, or students may request to be in the class. Service Learning focuses on determining the areas of need in our school and community, completing research on these needs, then completing community service projects to help meet the needs.
Each grade level has their own topic they are working on, with the exception of some weeks, all grade levels participate in community service projects. Each week we have 40-60 students in service learning. We have room for each grade level to send 20 students.
During the fall semester, 8th grade focused on food insecurities. They spent two class periods researching the effects of hunger on students. On Oct 31st they worked at the Shepard Staff Food pantry, organizing and shelving donations from the Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat district food drive. The pantry staff said what our kids completed in 2 hours would have taken them several days to complete. We have been back to the food pantry to help periodically since then. 8th grade Service Learning also help to restock our snack pantry here at the middle school each week. The last week of class, for the fall semester, the students worked on promotional materials to share the information they learned about food insecurities with the rest of the school.
7th grade focused on oral health issues. They spent two class periods researching the effects of poor oral care on students. Cass County Dental Clinic visited the Service Learning classes, and presented information about their clinic and the services they provide. All grade levels helped assemble bags of supplies for the clinic to provide to students in the Cass County area. The 7th graders also helped ECC assemble more bags to help with the cause. During the last week of class, the students created promotional materials for the building, sharing the information they have learned about oral health issues with the rest of the school.
6th grade worked on safety, with a focus on bullying. They spent two class periods researching the effects and consequences of bullying on students. They made yard signs, which were posted in the school's circle drive to help promote the Megan Meier's Foundation Anti-Bullying Assembly. They also created promotional materials on the adverse effects of bullying and bullying prevention, which were posted in the school.
Each of the grade level Service Learning classes also completed miscellaneous community service projects this past semester, such as painting pumpkins for Crown Care, creating promotional materials for the food drive, and creating thank you cards to provide at the Veterans Day assembly. A future Service Learning project will include gathering and mailing soil and grass seeds to military personnel overseas to grow a patch of grass on American soil.