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|Project Title: ||Help for Abused Women & Children (HAWC)|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||Danvers High - Danvers|
|Contact Name:||Jacquelyn White|
|Contact Phone:||(978) 777-8925|
|Content-Area(s):||English Language Arts, History & Social Sciences|
|Community Need:||Human Needs|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
The students’ service-learning project benefited a local non-profit organization called Help for Abused Women & Children (HAWC). The students organized a marketing campaign to collect used cell phones so that abused women and children can contact an emergency responder if they are in a situation that may lead to physical, sexual, mental, or emotional abuse. The students created posters and flyers requesting used cell phones, batteries, and chargers to be donated to HAWC, which they posted downtown in local businesses and around the high school, and they made daily announcements over the school intercom system. The students placed collection boxes in the Danvers High School and in several downtown businesses. After several weeks the students collected the boxes of cell phones and delivered them to HAWC.
The students decided to hold a car wash and use the money raised to purchase gift cards for HAWC clients. Before the car wash, the students created an informative brochure about abused women and children based on the information they learned through their research. The students printed hundreds of copies of the brochure and distributed them to each car that came to the car wash to raise awareness about abused women and children. The students raised approximately five hundred dollars, which they used to purchase gift cards to grocery and clothing stores. They delivered the gift cards to HAWC along with the cell phones and a copy of the brochure they created.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The community need was to raise awareness about abused women and children, to raise money for food and clothing for abused women and children, and to collect cell phones so that abused women and children can call 911 in the event of an emergency. The students conducted independent research on information and statistics about abused women and children in Massachusetts, specifically in the North Shore area. Based on the information the students gathered, they learned that abused women often return to their abusers due to lack of financial independence.
The students learned that in order for women to break free from abusive relationships, they need to have a job that pays a living wage. Additionally, the students discovered that abused women sometimes lack the education and skills that are required in order to get a decent job that can provide the mother and children with the financial support and medical benefits they need to survive. Also, when women and children leave an abusive situation, they often leave most of their personal belongings behind including clothing and other personal items. When women come to a shelter, they often need money to buy clothing and food. After learning about these needs, the students added the activity of raising money to purchase gift cards for grocery and clothing stores.
|Service Component: |
The students contacted local non-profit organizations to find out what problems, issues, or needs they had. Initially, the students wanted to help find homes for neglected or abandoned animals; however, they were unable to find an adult contact person in the community willing to work with students. After several unsuccessful phone calls, e-mails, and meetings, they set out to find a new project. The students began researching on the Internet looking for a community need. They came across the HAWC web page and decided to place a call to set up a visit. After the students visited HAWC, they identified the needs based on the information they learned during the visit and from the website. The students spent approximately four hours per week for a total of ten weeks on the project. The impact on the community was that HAWC received the cell phones and gift card for their clients. In addition, about one hundred families that came to the car wash learned about abused women and children through the informative brochure that the students created.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
In conducting their research on abused women and children, writing letters to businesses for donations, writing the informative brochure, and presenting their findings in an oral presentation, the students addressed the following standards:
English Language Arts:
3.17: Deliver formal presentations for particular audiences using clear enunciation and appropriate organization, gestures, tone, and vocabulary.
20.5: Use different levels of formality, style, and tone when composing for different audiences.
24.5: Formulate open-ended research questions and apply steps for obtaining and evaluating information from a variety of sources, organizing information, documenting sources in a consistent and standard format, and presenting research.
11.19 Identify the health consequences of domestic violence, child abuse, rape, and other forms of violence and discuss strategies to deal with as well as prevent them.
Students completed a self and group assessment form, in addition to weekly reflective journal entries, a final exam reflective essay, and a service-learning project presentation grade (utilizing a rubric).
In addition, the students learned: how to create a brochure using the Appleworks computer program; how to approach adults and communicate their ideas; and important transferable skills like time management, cooperation, and collaboration.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
The students chose their service learning project topic and most aspects of the specific project activities. They received support and encouragement from the teacher, but the vast majority of the project decisions were made by the students.
|Student Reflection Component: |
The students completed weekly reflective journal entries, a project presentation that required a reflection component, and a final reflective essay.
|Community Partners Involved: |
The students worked with HAWC. This partner was included in the process to identify community needs and met with the students three times throughout the course of the project.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
The students presented their project to faculty, students, administrators, and community members at a Community Service Learning Luncheon Celebration held on May 9, 2007. In addition, there was an in-class celebration breakfast for all the students in the Community Service Learning elective class on the day of their service-learning project presentation to the rest of the class. The Salem Evening News published pictures of the students working at the car wash in the newspaper.
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
The project addressed a community need for cell phones and gift cards for abused women and children. The project’s impact could be evaluated through student-led focus groups or questionnaires with the HAWC staff and clients regarding the impact of the cell phones and gift cards. The project’s impact could also be evaluated through student-run surveys of community members to determine the pre and post knowledge about abused women and children to evaluate the student’s activities to raise community awareness about the issue.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
The students’ first idea to collect gift cards for HAWC was to write and distribute gift card donation request letters to local businesses like Target, Kohl’s, and Market Basket. However, the students’ letters and attempts to meet with store managers were unsuccessful. The students also tried to write letters to local businesses to donate gift cards; however, after their letters and visits went unanswered, the students chose to come up with a new plan and hold the car wash instead.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.