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|Project Title: ||History of Worcester's Elm Park|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||South High Community - Worcester|
|Contact Name:||Steve Lacilla|
|Content-Area(s):||History & Social Sciences|
|Grades:||9, 10, 11|
|Community Need:||Community Development|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
The Academy of Education, Service and Government (AESG) partnered with Preservation Worcester and MYTOWN in Boston to create "A New Tour of Worcester's Elm Park." MYTOWN instructed the students in BRICK (Building Revolutions through Community Knowledge) and the development of an Urban Field Notebook. Students attended lectures by Worcester experts on the history of Worcester and Elm Park. The students visited Boston and experienced a student tour of Boston. Students presented their first tour to Worcester Senior Center and members of Worcester's School Committee and City Council on June 16, 2006.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
Students in the CSL Youth Council had determined that Community Awareness and Recreation was a need in their community from the bus tour they took in the Fall 2005. Additionally, the AESG has been involved with events at Elm Park (one of the oldest parks in the nation) over the last year. The AESG partnered with the Carpenters Union to repair 150 benches and two bridges at Elm Park in April 2006. The AESG had adopted the Rogers-Kennedy Statue in Elm Park a year ago and had participated in fundraising for the restoration of the statue. The AESG was invited to the rededication of the statue on June 8, 2006. AESG students answered questions about the history of the statue following the rededication.
|Service Component: |
The students conducted a tour of Elm Park for 30 Worcester residents. Students dedicated 25 hours each for this CSL. Students gained knowledge of their community, demonstrated excellent public speaking skills, represented themselves, their families, their school and their community with dignity. The students expanded the community's knowledge of the value of Elm Park. The next plan is to investigate the possibility of these students conducting tours of Elm Park for visitors of Worcester's Convention Center!
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
This CSL project fulfilled the central point in the AESG's youth development plan to "provide clear and ongoing opportunities for youth voice and active involvement." It also addressed the AESG Habits of Mind to initiate-serve-lead. This project addressed U.S. History standards USI.15 , 17:Explain the roles and responsibilities of local government and offices in MA (Parks Department); USI. 19: Explain the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and describe how citizens can participate in interest groups; Civics and Government Frameworks: Describe how citizens can participate responsibly and effectively in the civic and political life of the United States.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Youth voice and leadership was particularly augmented via student assessments, surveys, and their reflection process, as South High students utilized these tools to create and sustain the most efficient and effective service-learning program.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students must complete reflections after each CSL session.
A sample of student reflections follows:
"I loved this community service learning project. I never knew community service could be so fun. Thanks so much for letting me be involved."
"I learned so much about Elm Park. I walk there on weekends with my family now."(Student live more than one mile from the Park.)
"I was always so shy. I never thought I could talk in front of a group of strangers."
|Community Partners Involved: |
Preservation Worcester and MYTOWN
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Students were invited to the celebration of the rededication of the Rogers- Kennedy Memorial at Elm Park on June 8, 2006. The staff were invited to a private celebration at one of the homes of Worcester's philanthropists. Students celebrated with lemonade and homemade cookies after the tour at Elm Park on June 16, 2006.
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
The student-created tour of Elm Park was the final evaluation of the project. Opportunities for additional tours will provide additional evaluations of the project. MYTOWN, Preservation Worcester, the faculty of the AESG and the students that participated in this project all are witnesses to the project's success.
|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.