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|Project Title: ||Reading To Give Read-A-Thon|
|School Year: ||2008|
|School - District:||Community Day Charter Public School - Community Day Charter Public (District)|
|Contact Name:||Susan O'Neill|
|Content-Area(s):||English Language Arts|
|Grades:||6, 7, 8|
|Community Need:||Education, Human Needs|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
CSL students organized the participation of the entire school in a day-long Reading To Give Read-A-Thon (a program of the Jester & Pharley Phund). The Jester & Pharley Phund grew from the response to the children’s book The Jester Has Lost His Jingle, written and illustrated by Dave Saltzman before his death from cancer at the age of 22. The Phund was established to spread David’s message of hope, love, laughter and charity to children everywhere. This year, CDCPS partnered with the Jester & Pharley Phund and Lawrence General Hospital to raise awareness about the needs of children dealing with long-term illnesses through a literacy based activity. The project included a day long Read-A-Thon to raise funds to provide Jester books and dolls to children in the hospital’s pediatric ward. Students secured sponsors and collected donations, encouraged the participation of student readers, and read to students. CSL students had the opportunity to develop planning, organizational, and presentation skills. They also learned how the efforts of one person can make a lasting impact on the lives of others.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
Young children hospitalized and/or receiving medical care for chronic illnesses need encouragement/activities that lessen stress during treatment; and young students at Community Day Charter School need opportunities to practice and develop reading skills.
|Service Component: |
Ten (10) CSL students in grades 6-8 prepared and distributed promotional packets to advertise the Read-A-Thon throughout the school and to encourage students to encourage sponsorships and donations; and they organized the sponsorships/donations received. On the day of the Read-A-Thon they also worked in classrooms reading to and with young children throughout the day. Collectively the project involved 24 hours of planning/reflection and an additional 12 service hours. The project impacted the entire school K-8: 90 students in grades 5-8 read to an additional 211 students in K-4; and the donations benefited an additional 40 hospitalized children.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
The Reading To Give Project aligned to these ELA standards:
EN-1.3- Apply understanding of agreed-upon rules and individual roles in order to make decisions
EN-1.4- Know and apply rules for formal discussions
EN-2.3- Gather relevant information for a research project, composition, or other project through interviews
The students demonstrated the capacity to work collaboratively to develop and execute a plan to successfully involve the whole school in a service project.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
CSL students meet with faculty advisors in brainstorming sessions to identify issues of concern to them. As issues are identified and considered students discuss and research examples of how others have worked to address these issues so that they can come to a group consensus to select a service project. Once the project is chosen, students divide themselves into groups to prepare an implementation plan and secure approval from school administrators to execute it.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students were engaged in many reflective discussions during the process of completing this project. With each step of the project, students shared their opinions about the power of the individual (particularly Dave Saltzman) to think about and improve the lives of others at a time of great personal struggle.
|Community Partners Involved: |
Our contacts at Lawrence General Hospital offered great encouragement and feedback at the start and conclusion of the project. Though the relationship with The Jester & Pharley Phund was through online and snail mail communications they provided our students with great inspiration, support and organizational expertise to address our community needs.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
A representative from Lawrence General attended the CDCPS Model Student Assembly in December to personally recognize the CSL students and to thank the entire school for their participation in the Reading To Give event.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
The process evaluation indicated that the students were able to plan and complete their project on-time and successfully. Students were able to observe and receive feedback from teachers and students throughout the day of the Read-A-Thon; and from the Hospital representative that attended the Student Assembly to describe how the project would impact children receiving medical care. All agreed it was a highly successful project.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
* 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.