|Kelly Miller students plan their service-learning project|
Written by Molly Fessler
DC SCORES intern
When the Kelly Miller Middle School DC SCORES team started thinking about their service-learning project, they knew they wanted to raise money to help their school — but they also wanted to go further than that.
“Last week we were talking about things we could do to raise money for Kelly Miller. Our teacher wanted us to do something more than pick up trash ... so we thought we could do a car wash,” Taejon B. said. “Then when the bombings in Boston happened, we thought we could raise some money for them too.”
The Kelly Miller Lions are working on developing their project, a process that takes a couple months and requires the creative dedication of all students working together. One week, they came up with their idea; the next week, it was time to figure out how to make the car wash a
I caught up with the team members to find out how they would develop a solid plan of action.
“We're going to need to get our supplies, figure out water and soap and all that stuff,” Precious J. said. “People will need clothes they can get wet in … We'll have to advertise, maybe people can make signs.”
The students have moved past the initial brainstorming phase and are asking more tangible questions:
What goes into creating an event?
Who needs to do what?
Do the students have to ask for permission — and from whom?
It’s a process that takes time, problem-solving skills, and teamwork as the students determine who should do what, when it should be completed, and how.
Beyond creating lists of supplies and negotiating roles on the team, another important part of implementing a service-learning project is discussing why the work being done is important.
As Taejon B. puts it, “Raising money is really good.”
Joshua M., adds, “It’s going to help us learn more about our community and the people in Boston ... they need help, ‘cause some people can't pay their medical bills if they got injured.”
DC SCORES service-learning projects are all about students identifying issues at their respective schools but also exploring their greater communities and identifying what needs addressing.
The Lions envisioned a project through which they could become engaged in their local community to spread a message of solidarity and understanding. With the help of their service-learning coach, Ms. Kavon, Kelly Miller students are thinking big.
They set a fundraising goal of $1,500, money that will be split between their school and a fund for victims in Boston.
As the service-learning season winds down with three weeks remaining before the Jamboree! celebration June 1, the Kelly Miller team — and dozens of other school teams throughout the District — is moving forward, putting their strong plan into action.
“I’m excited,” Precious said. “We’re going to help people.”