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|Project Title: ||A Dose of Caring|
|School Year: ||2008|
|School - District:||Brookfield Elementary - Brookfield|
|Contact Name:||Lori Hyde|
|Contact Phone:||(508) 867-8774|
|Content-Area(s):||Arts, English Language Arts, Science & Technology|
|Grades:||4, 5, 6|
|Community Need:||Human Needs|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Those who find themselves admitted to the local hospital had something to look forward to! In addition to standard medical care, patients received a specialized form of treatment: Fourth to sixth grade special education students administered a “dose of caring” with gifts of hand-made cards and home-grown plants. Students embarked on the project by exploring a variety of card-making techniques in art class. They learned about a variety of poetry forms and practiced writing their own poetry during their language arts class. Using their newly-acquired artistic and literary skills, students crafted hand-made cards for sick patients. They took a leadership role in teaching other students the skills they learned by holding card-making sessions. Students enhanced the project by growing plants from seeds in the classroom, using scientific skills to track the stages of plant development. To conclude the project, students took a field trip to the hospital to deliver cards and plants. At a culminating celebratory tea, each student received a certificate and a memory poster to commemorate their service.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
This multifaceted project targeted health and well-being. Research has documented the positive effect of social connectedness: Strong networks, whether between youth and adults or among youth, have the potential to enhance the well-being of individuals and communities. This project supported the recovery of sick patients by providing a special sense of caring to them. It also supported a sense of cooperation in the school environment as a group of students modeled service for others and also taught new skills to fellow students. The idea for this project grew out of student interest. Students brainstormed possible ideas and discussed advantages and disadvantages of a variety of projects before arriving at a final decision.
|Service Component: |
Students showed caring for hospitalized patients by supplying the local hospital with hand-made cards and home-grown plants. They enhanced the effectiveness of this service by taking a leadership role in involving other students in the card-making. Given options for implementing the project, the students evaluated the options and made decisions about how to provide the service. Each student engaged in the project for approximately forty hours throughout the school year. More than sixty patients benefited from gifts of cards and plants. As a result of this project, the well-being of ill patients was enhanced.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
This project made strong connections to the English Language Arts, Science and Technology, and the Arts curriculum frameworks. Students participated in discussions as they conceptualized, planned, implemented, and evaluated the project. For the card-making component of the project, students learned about poetry and composed original poems, they worked with a variety of visual art forms, and they wrote informational paragraphs and designed posters to promote the card-making sessions. For the plant-growing component of the project, students studied and observed the growth of plants. Student skill at participating in discussions, comprehending poetry, composing different types of poems, composing short informational pieces, and understanding the developmental process of plant growth was assessed formally and informally using tools such as open-response prompts involving rubrics as well as observations followed by student-teacher conferences.
English Language Arts: 1.2, 1.3, 2.2, 2.3, 5.6, 10.2, 14.2, 14.3, 14s.3, 15.2, 15.3, 19.15
Science: 2, 3, 16
-In visual and at least two of the performing arts—dance, music, and theatre—manipulate elements to enhance an expressive effect.
-Select and use art materials, tools, and processes, including computer technology, to create specific effects.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
This student-driven project involved student decision-making from inception to completion. Students utilized the class meeting format to shape the project. They participated in a wide range of discussion formats as they brainstormed, evaluated alternatives, and made decisions necessary to carry out the project. As the project unfolded, students took a leadership role in working with other students.
|Student Reflection Component: |
A vital component of the project, student reflection took a variety of forms throughout the course of the project. Prior to the card-making sessions, students focused on how to introduce themselves, lead with self-confidence, and engage the other students in the activity. After each card-making session, students reflected on the extent to which they carried out these strategies. In anticipation of the visit to the hospital, students took time to think about how to present themselves. They shared thoughts and feelings after the visit. At the close of the project, students completed a self-assessment. A memory poster, presented at the conclusion of the project, captured the project in pictures and included room for student recollections and reflections.
|Community Partners Involved: |
This project involved two community partners: Brookfield Elementary School and Harrington Memorial Hospital. Students worked with other students to teach them learned skills so that they can be involved in the project. They made donations to the hospital to be given to patients. The school and the hospital were involved in the project throughout its duration.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
A number of celebratory activities served as a meaningful close to a worthwhile project. A special presentation at Harrington Memorial Hospital commemorated the student donations. Students who participated in the project received tokens of appreciation for their contributions during a celebratory tea. Some of the gifts to patients at Harrington Memorial Hospital were featured in the newspaper.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
In addition to leading short discussions about the card-making with the participating students at the end of the project, students surveyed those who participated in the project. All students received direct feedback regarding the impact of the donations when they met with hospital staff at the conclusion of the project. In a culminating discussion, students reviewed the data they collected and drew conclusions about the effectiveness of the project.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
This project, which introduced new connections among special education and regular education students, was highly successful in that special education students took a leadership role in the project and regular education students exhibited enthusiasm about participating in it.
* 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.