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|Project Title: ||Community Literacy|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||Smith Leadership Academy Charter Public School - Smith Leadership Academy Charter Public (District)|
|Contact Name:||J Hoffman|
|Content-Area(s):||English Language Arts|
|Grades:||6, 7, 8|
|Community Need:||Education, Literacy|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
The 7th grade students read to the pre school students at the Dorchester Multi-service Center. They learned how to read effectively to very young children using voice projection, change in tone, articulation, enunciation, and dramatic renderings of the story. Our students realized the importance of phonetics, pronunciation, and helping the young children to form sentences and with word recognition. The pre schoolers also improved their comprehension because they would ask questions to our students, which in turn also helped to form mentoring relationships. The 7th graders became role models to the young children. This community service experience was folllowed by a thorough reflection of the literacy needs of our community and became aware of their role in promoting literacy.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The students addressed the literacy need of the community. The students and teachers examined the data available in regards to student performance in their neighborhood. They discussed reasons why children struggled an did not perform well on standardized tests and in the classrooms. After great deliberations and taking their own experiences into account, they concluded that reading played a vital role in student performance as it was important in all content areas of the curriculum. It was decided that this issue had to be addressed at an early age for the chances of success to increase. This was the basis of them going to Dorchester Multi-service Centre to read to the pre -schoolers.
|Service Component: |
Every student had the opportunity to read to the pre-schoolers. They served for approximately 7 hours from January to May. Our students helped at least 60 children at the Center. The impact on the children was absolutely positive because they would wait anxiously for our students to arrive and were excited about interacting with their role models. The instructors and day care providers gave our students feedback about their reading and sharing their time with the children. The Director of the Daycare was very appreciative and was surprised that our students were so involved and eager to serve their community. The other counselors and nurses were fascinated by the reflection and discussion sessions of our students.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
US.G 5.1 Explain the meaning and responsibilities of citizens in the US and MA.
US.G 5.2 Describe the role of citizens in MA and US including, participating in voluntary associations to promote the common good.
USG 4.6 Differentiate governmental and non-governmental organization…and describe its purpose and function.
USG.5.6 Identify specific ways for individuals to serve their communities and participate responsibly in civil society.
Students were assessed on their journals, class discussions, and the quality of their reading to the pre-schoolers.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Youth voice could be incorporated when students do research on literacy and reading skills. Students may choose the books, based on class-decided criteria, they read to their buddies at the daycare. Students could also generate reading-comprehension questions to prompt discussions with their buddies after reading.
|Student Reflection Component: |
After every reading session students were expected to reflect in their journal and share their experience with the class followed by a class discussion on service to others. Students compared their experiences this year with just learning about it last year when they did not actually serve.
"I really felt good when I read to the kids at the Dorchester House it was nice being able to give back to the community and all of the little kids. When my group members and I including Xavier Lewis and Tavis Lovick read to the kids we felt so happy when we saw the smiles on the kids. While reading, the strangest thing happened, a rabbit popped out of nowhere and everyone’s attention was on the rabbit. Despite the interruption the kids enjoyed us reading to them. I hope when they grow up they can enjoy reading to kids as much as I enjoyed reading to them."
|Community Partners Involved: |
The community partner was the Dorchester Multi-Service Center.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
We had a celebration in the form of inviting parents to listen to the students giving a short presentation of their Service Learning experience. Students were recognized for their outstanding commitment and dedication by presenting them with awards.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
Project evaluation could be conducted by student designed questionaires that are administered to the daycare kids. How have students' reading confidence improved? Do students read more often or enjoy reading more than they did before the project began? Do the students perform better in school than they did before?
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
The challenges faced were related to transportation but our solution was to get the students to walk to and from school to the service site. Another challenge was the lack of confidence by several Special Education Needs students who were unsure of their own reading skills. The teacher encouraged and supported them by giving them the book the day before for them to practice so that they would feel more confident in reading to others.
* 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.