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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Service-learning 2014: Committees lead the way for Raymond Education Campus' success

Written by Kara Dunford
Communications Intern

When tasked with planning and implementing a service-learning project this spring, the Raymond Tigers quickly decided to focus on promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, one of the lessons gained from their involvement with DC SCORES. To add an element of fun, the students wanted to host a carnival featuring booths centered around different components of healthy living, such as nutrition and exercise.

The workload — brainstorming ideas, planning the activities, hosting the carnival — seemed like a daunting task.

The Tigers, however, were not discouraged. Instead, they decided to manage the work by dividing into committees. Groups of two or three students were responsible for their own booth, from the initial idea to the day of the carnival.

On the afternoon I visited Raymond, the classroom buzzed with activity. Students met in their committees to work through the logistics of their booths, thinking about how each activity would work, estimating costs, and determining roles for each committee member.

Fifth grader Kalkidan A. was excited for her booth, which would feature activities to build and test the strength of the carnival attendees, including tug of war and a baseball toss.

"I'm most looking forward to running my booth," she said. "Actually putting my ideas into action."

The students were challenged by their coaches to think about what each attendee would take away from visiting the various booths. With her fellow committee members, Kalkidan discussed the goals of the games and how they would fit into the larger goal of the carnival.

Kalkidan explained that they wanted to make sure each participant exercised as a result of visiting the booth.

"It's about living in a healthy way," she said.

Overall, the committee structure allowed the Tigers to learn about what it meant to be a member of a team with specific responsibilities and deadlines. The teams learned how to make the most of each member's strengths when assigning roles.

In addition to the lessons on teamwork, fifth-grader D'Edrick P. learned that service can take on many different forms.

"It can help people in any community," he said. "For example, it can help the elderly. Sometimes they need help walking across the street. Or sometimes there is trash in the park. If a group of kids come to pick it up, it will help make the earth better."

D'Edrick looked forward to putting his newfound appreciation for service into action at the carnival, anticipating positive feelings after the event took place.

"I'll feel happy for myself, doing something for the other people who came,"he said.

The Tigers' healthy living carnival is just one example of the amazing service-learning projects that took place during DC SCORES programming this spring. To see about how students at 47 schools learned how to be agents of change in their communities, check out our Flickr album.

Watch the video above (and here) to hear more from the Tigers.

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