Our last story about service-learning in the Waterloo schools shows how passionate students at George Washington Carver Academy can be when they set their mind to something! The creativity and development of these students is so evident in the ways this project was formed.
This series of stories about service-learning in the Waterloo schools demonstrate a deeper and more developed understanding of what impact looks like in our community. It is not about "doing good" just because it's good, but it's learning about the community we live in and truly opening our minds to the real impact individuals in our community face. One major highlight of these service-learning projects was the fact that these students took time to LEARN first about their community then ACT from their understanding! They were intentional in the way they learned about our community and even more deliberate in the way they took action!
George Washington Carver Academy
An eighth grade class at George Washington Carver Academy was very concerned with racism. They explored the topic by reading about it, and also by listening to guest speakers on the topic! They then put together a PowerPoint presentation on racism and the effects of it. They also wrote letters to the editor, and conducted a survey of their fellow students on the topic. When the project first begun, the students felt powerless to do anything about racism in our society. They were angry about it, but did not have any focus on a positive approach to racism. The project helped clarify that they could educate others and become advocates for the elimination of racism in our society!
A while ago, we posted our first article about service-learning and how the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley is helping the Waterloo community! Here is a recap of what service-learning is:
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities! Service-learning will help students develop responsibility, empower them to feel they can make a difference, increase their civic awareness, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Service-learning is wonderful because it enhances both student growth and the common good. It achieves real objectives in the community while enabling students to achieve a deeper understanding of social issues. Below is another story about how service-learning helped students learn about health issues!
Lou Henry Elementary
Fourth grade students in a talented and gifted class at Lou Henry Elementary wanted to have an impact on the lives of students at Lou Henry regarding health issues. To explore the issues, they listened to speakers from the Allen nursing school and nursing program at Hawkeye Community College. They also did some research on their own. After discussing the information gleaned, they decided to write a play about the importance of cleanliness in day to day life. They authored the play, designed scenery, collected costumes, and then presented the play to their fellow students! The students learned much about health issues and were able to teach the rest of the school!