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|Project Title: ||A Journey to Kindergarten|
|School Year: ||2008|
|School - District:||Brayton - North Adams|
|Contact Name:||Dina Poplaski and Michelle Nicholas|
|Contact Email:||MNicholas@napsk12.org; DPoplaski@napsk12.org|
|Contact Phone:||(413) 662-3260|
|Content-Area(s):||English Language Arts, History & Social Sciences, Science & Technology|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Our project was to create a tool that would enable children and families to feel more comfortable when entering the public school system for kindergarten. Forty students from Brayton Pre-K classroom took a bus trip to Greylock Elementary, Sullivan Elementary, and toured Brayton Elementary School.
Our students researched, photographed, and explored a journey to Kindergarten. A child friendly take home picture book will enable them to browse through pictures and look at familiar faces and places for their individual school and their friends’ schools.
Our students will participate in a community wide presentation for 150 children and families entering Kindergarten this fall. They will come together to enjoy a video about entering kindergarten and enjoy a special snack with other children entering kindergarten.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
In our community there was no tool that enabled children and families to feel more comfortable when entering the public school system for kindergarten. Our students wanted to feel at ease when going to kindergarten and wanted to help their friends feel that way too. Our classes contacted each school in our district to see if we could come and research what kindergarten was all about. All schools welcomed our request without hesitation.
|Service Component: |
Our students researched, photographed, and explored a journey to Kindergarten. A child friendly take-home picture-book will enable them to browse through pictures and look at familiar faces and places for their individual school and their friends’ school. We also have invited all upcoming Kindergarteners to a presentation slideshow about going to kindergarten. Our students felt they wanted a presentation and a book so their friends could take it home and remember that school is cool. 150 estimated kindergarteners will be served. 32 students served approximately 25 hours. The community impact was amazing! From the kindergarten teachers to the family home care providers, all were impressed and welcomed this idea to ease the transition to public school.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
-PreK-K.4 Describe the location and features of places in the immediate neighborhood of the
student’s home or school.
-PreK-K.5 Retell stories that illustrate honesty, courage, friendship, respect, responsibility, and the wise or judicious exercise of authority, and explain how the characters in the stories show these qualities.
-PreK-K.8 Give examples of different kinds of jobs that people do, including the work they do at home.
-Pre-K 3.1: Give oral presentations about personal experiences or interests, using clear enunciation and adequate volume.
-Pre-K 3.2: Maintain focus on the topic
-Pre-K 4.2: Describe common objects and events in general and specific language.
-Pre-K 2.6.1: Identify formal and informal language in stories
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Our entire service project was our students’ voice. From their quotes during the research to their voices on the power point presentation our students took ownership to this project. Many of our students are ready and excited for kindergarten rather than nervous. Our students took on this project because they did not want anyone think school was not cool.
|Student Reflection Component: |
The children started the experience by brainstorming and predicting ideas and thoughts about what to expect on their trips to the different buildings and classrooms. We talked about feelings, emotions, expectations and prior knowledge of the school buildings and classrooms. Some Pre-K children had siblings, relatives and friends in the public school or had attended an event with their families at one of the school buildings. We used critical thinking skills and problem solving skills to formulate our knowledge of our project.
-“I picked up my brother at the nurse. She is nice and she takes care of kids while they wait for their moms and dads.”
-“I see the lunch food at my house.”
-“I want to go to gym class cause they learn how to play gym.”
-“Kids need to know where to go so they don’t get lost.”
-“My mom needs to know where I am.”
|Community Partners Involved: |
Partners on this project included: the Conte 6th Graders, Anne French, Deb Rosselli, Family Net, Mrs. LaRocca, Ms. Quirk, All building principals, JoAnne Hurlbut-Local Cable Compan, LINCS center, All community daycares, Head Start, Family childcare homes
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Our project presentation/celebration is on May 29th and we hope have it covered by local newspaper, cable company and WUPE radio.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
We assessed the students learning through the questions they asked us, talk about their drawings, the favorite things that they learned, the empowerment they felt and the calmness and contentment that they expressed with their experience.
The community service was evident in the ideas and knowledge the students shared with their peers, their desire to tell other children, and the information they shared with their parents.
|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.