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|Project Title: ||Thompson’s Field Habitat Enhancement Project|
|School Year: ||2008|
|School - District:||Cape Cod Region Voc Tech - Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical|
|Contact Name:||Beth Leonard|
|Content-Area(s):||Science & Technology|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Freshmen partnered with AmeriCorps Cape-Cod to learn about habitat preservation, invasive and indigenous species, and the dangers of abundant fire fuels. Students worked to remove invasive plants and downed trees to enhance the native habitat and foster the growth of indigenous plants and native wild life. Students helped AmeriCorps in their efforts to assist the Town of Harwich with this land management project.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The students addressed the community of Harwich’s need to restore the interconnected habitats of the 57 acre conservation land and improve wildlife diversity by enhancing habitats. The need to protect the public drinking water supply with non-chemical land management was addressed. After being educated to these needs and surveying the area for themselves students assessed their work strategy for the time period allowed.
|Service Component: |
Students cut and carried dead tree limbs acting as fire fuel to a wood chipping area. Students also pulled out and cut invasive plants and vines from the area bringing them to an area set for a controlled burn. Students determined how best to utilize their time after learning about the area’s need and viewing the size and shape of the lands in need. Each freshman served and together the 202 volunteers from Tech participated for 505 hours with an estimated value of $6,133 to the Town of Harwich.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
This project was connected to the science frameworks specifically B6.2 Ecology, as well as scientific inquiry skills.
The project is also connected to the English Language Arts guiding principle 10. While encouraging respect for differences in home backgrounds, an effective English language arts curriculum nurtures students’ sense of their common ground as present or future American citizens in order to prepare them for responsible participation in our schools and in civic life. An activity example is that students will read Emerson’s quote about success and write a reflective response discussing whether their community service project would be considered a success by Emerson’s definition. Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum standards:
Students will write with a clear focus, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.
Students will write for different audiences and purposes.
Students will organize ideas in writing in a way that makes sense for their purpose.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Once at Thompson’s Field, the students had the opportunity to analyze the area and determine how best to utilize their time. They were able to concentrate their efforts on the jobs they felt they could make the most impact.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students utilized a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of success. They wrote about if they viewed their CSL project to be a success or not and gave clear examples to support their thoughts.
|Community Partners Involved: |
AmeriCorps Cape Cod worked with us from the planning stage through completion. They took part in our school celebration breakfast and were acknowledged in the same newspaper and TV publications as our students. We also partnered with the Harwich Conservation Trust who is in charge of the parcel of land that we worked on. They too worked on every facet of the project with us.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Our project was covered in two local newspapers. The local television station covered the story and produced a report on community service learning as well as the work being down on that particular project. That TV news magazine show was run every Monday night for the month of May. The entire freshman class along with invited guests from AmeriCorps and Harwich Conservation Trust participated in a celebration breakfast. Speakers from both organizations addressed the student body expressing appreciation for the students’ help. A certificate of appreciation was awarded to the student body.
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
Students viewed a slide show of before and after photos of the Thompson’s Field Area. They were also shown a power point presentation listing the total hours put into the enhancement project and the translation of those hours into labor costs saved for the Town of Harwich.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
The challenge of getting the entire freshman class (191 students) to have the same experience without having too many students present at one time was solved by splitting up into two days and holding two sessions per day.
* 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.