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|Project Title: ||Annual Walk for Homelessness|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||South High Community - Worcester|
|Contact Name:||Joe Caforio and Peter Sherman|
|Content-Area(s):||English Language Arts, History & Social Sciences|
|Grades:||9, 10, 11|
|Community Need:||Housing, (homelessness)|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
This service-learning project consisted of piloting a 5-week curriculum on affordable housing from the Newton Educational Development Center (EDC). The AESG partnered with the Central MA Housing Alliance to provide speakers from Worcester on affordable housing. Seventy-five grade 11 students and an additional twenty-five grade 9 & 10 students participated in this CSL. The curriculum included "Housing as a Community Issue; The Problem: Housing Affordability, Affordable Housing Solutions in Massachusetts Cities and Towns; Finding Common Ground Among Competing Interests; and Reflections on Student Experiences in the Community". Students also participated in a neighborhood bus tour of affordable housing in Worcester, including discussions with housing developers. Students volunteered 5 hours as Marshall’s in the Walk for the Homeless on May 4, 2006.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
Students identified the need for Affordable Housing at the tour of the neighborhood in Fall 2005 when CSL Youth Council students were identifying areas to be addressed in their work. Sixty-eight percent of the students in the AESG have free lunch and deal with affordable housing within their families. Students who participated in the training are now educating their families and neighbors about services and contacts for affordable housing within the Worcester community.
|Service Component: |
Students walked and raised pledges from the community, and also served as marshalls for Worcester's Annual Walk for the Homeless on June 4, 2006. Students volunteered 5 hours. They also prepared food at a local store, and served the food to the customers for a cost of $.99 for a hotdog and a soda. The students earned $80.00 and donated the money to the Homeless Walk. Students volunteered for this CSL for an additional 5 hours. After learning about the need for clean sheets and pillowcases in one of Worcester's shelters, the students successfully advertised for, collected and delivered new sheets and pillowcases to the shelter.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
The Affordable Housing Project connects to the Economics Grade 12 Elective Standard: supply and demand, property rights, role of government; public goods and services. It also connects to the American Government Standard: nature of government; civic, political and private life; common good; current state and local legislative issues; role of citizens; analyze a public policy and practice civic skills.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students were empowered throughout their service and learning experience, identifying a real community need that many of them experienced as well. They were able to choose and plan an appropriate project to benefit their learning experience as well as the community. Student empowerment allowed for the identification of affordable housing as a community need the students could relate to but also one that the community could benefit from in this project.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students write reflections in their journals after every session. A sample of the student reflections are as follows:
"I learned so much about affordable housing. I never understood the different kinds of housing available."
"Through this community service learning, I know I can call someone that I have met to help my family about housing."
"I wish I had known about the laws on housing when my landlord evicted us. Now I know we did not have to leave until we went to housing court."
"I am going to give my uncle and my neighbor some of the business cards the speakers gave me."
|Community Partners Involved: |
Central MA Housing Alliance, Newton Educational Development Center (EDC)
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Students who were the Marshalls in the Walk for Homeless joined with all the marchers for a cookout and celebration after the walk. The student Marshalls were given a special T-shirt to thank them for their community service.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
Students completed both pre-tests and post-tests on Affordable Housing. The results show the students have increased their knowledge of Affortable Housing by 100%.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
There were no challenges related to implementing this CSL. The curriculum developed by the Newton Educational Development Center was excellent. The collaboration with the Central MA Housing Alliance was very instrumental in bringing the curriculum "alive" for our students.
* 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.