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|Project Title: ||Blooming Elderly Sunshine|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||West Middle School - Brockton|
|Contact Name:||Diane Lynch|
|Contact Phone:||(508) 580-7381|
|Content-Area(s):||Science & Technology|
|Grades:||6, 7, 8|
|Community Need:||Community Development, Environment, Human Needs|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
The “Blooming Elderly Sunshine” is a club-wide (Boys and Girls Club) project, which addresses the environmental needs of the elderly community in the elderly high-rise. This project will enhance the emotional needs of the elderly patients by stimulating their senses. Students will research soil quality, water conservation, and gardening techniques. Students will enhance the outside environment by planting flowers to develop a flower garden. In addition, students will plant a flower or herb mini garden for each person’s apartment.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
In the city of Brockton each year the Mayor holds a youth summit where students are able to voice their opinions about the city to the mayor, community members, and other local officials. During this year’s youth summit the students stated that they wanted to see the city beautified. Across from the Boys and Girls Club sits an elderly housing project which has a small court yard where many of the residents sit. The students at the Boys and Girls Club interviewed the elderly along with the director and they decided the site was in need of some flowers to brighten up the court yard. Also, the director felt many of the residents needed to interact with people outside the complex because many of the elderly live alone and would welcome the students company.
|Service Component: |
The students created flower beds at the local senior housing project. Students decided what would be planted based on conversations with the residents in the complex. The students served the complex for approximately 10 hours. The court yard at the complex now has bright colored flowers for all the residents to enjoy.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
ELA (G 5-8): 2.4 Integrate relevant information gathered from group discussions and interviews for reports. 3.12 Give oral presentations to different audiences for various purposes.
Life Science-Biology (G 6-8): 15. Explain how dead plants and animals are broken down by other living organisms and how this process contributes to the system as a whole.
Pretest paragraph: Describe what type of soil you think is required for plants to grow. Students will write a daily entry describing each day’s activity to prepare the plant boxes. The posttest will be a last entry describing the soil actually used to grow plants.
Day 1: Discuss the project and encourage students to voice opinions and ideas to enhance the project. Students receive journals and design their covers. A speaker from the Senior High Rise leads discussion.
Day 2: Internet research on soil composting. Students form groups, discuss and present their findings to the class. The groups place soil and materials (coffee grinds, dryer lint, eggshells, potato peels, etc) in a coffee can to create soil compost, cover the soil with a plastic lid and place it in a warm location, then record changes in their journals.
Day 3: A guest speaker from Nessralla Farms presents and students research soil composition and its role in the growth of plants.
Day 4: Visit to meet with the residents and determine what materials are needed for their planting.
Day 5: The instructor and students make a list of items needed for the project, and take a trip to Lowes to purchase the items.
Day 6: Students organize materials and begin planting.
Day 7: Students construct an observation chart for the growth and appearance of their plants and soil condition.
Day 8: Students make gift cards for the seniors, and continue to chart plant growth.
Day 9: Group plants at Senior High Rise.
Day 10: Group distributes plants and celebrate with the residents.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
The students had the opportunity to meet with the seniors at the elderly complex. The students decided what was best to purchase based on the money they had and what the seniors presented to them.
|Student Reflection Component: |
During this project at the end of each class students were required to write in their journals about what they had learned and connect that to their two essential questions. Will the plants enhance the well being of the elderly and Is soil composition an important component in growing healthy plants?
|Community Partners Involved: |
The Boys and Girls Club Staff worked directly with the Brockton Public schools to create the project and implement it with the students. The Boys and Girls Club set up the connection with the elderly housing project as well. The director from the housing project worked directly with the students to help inform them of the elders needs.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
The students took part in the Boys and Girls Club family day by helping family members to plant their own flowers in pots. Also all students who took part in this project received certificates on the family day at the Boys and Girls Club.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
Success of the community service was determined by the appreciation of the elderly residents.
|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.