Written By Dahlia Chaudhury
Service-learning is a integral part of the DC SCORES curriculum, and we're always excited when spring rolls around and students begin their projects. To kick off the new season we've compiled some of our best service-learning stories and videos to give you an idea of what students will be tackling this spring.
“We don’t just play soccer. We can help other people in our community, too.”
-William P., H.D. Cooke
1. Imagine Hope creates a school garden out of recycled soda bottles
Last spring, Imagine Hope Tolson took advantage of their school-wide recycling program by saving bottles and creating a garden out of them. Students cut the bottles and filled them with soil and flowers to add some greenery to their school which is surrounded by asphalt. They also walked around the community and cleaned up several blocks. Imagine Hope students were joined in service by, among others, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade alumni who had stayed connected to the program through coach Jerome Clemons and the Classroom Champions nonprofit that he also ran at the school; Steve Mesler, the head of Classroom Champions, and dozens of Olympic athletes from the Team USA Athletes Advisory Council; James Cole Jr., the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education; and a U.S. Senator, Adrian Smith of Nebraska.
“Literally, you can turn any space or any item possibly into a little green outside garden,” Clemons said.
You can read the full story here.
2. Raymond Education Campus plans a Healthy Living Carnival
In 2014 the Raymond Tigers successfully held a Healthy Living Carnival for their peers. The students split into committees, each of which planned and executed a booth. Committees taught students to work as a team to complete their project. The carnival was a success and students had a great time running their own booths.
You can read the full story here.
3. Truesdell cleans up their school community
The Truesdell Trojans took on cleaning up the trash in their school buildings for their 2015 service project. Like Raymond, they used the committee method to approach their project. They also made their project into a school-wide competition by offering a prize to whichever class picked up the most trash in their hallway.
There is an entire blog/video series on Truesdell's project. Check it out here.
4. Thomson addresses hunger in their community
Thomson Elementary School students used the research portion of service-learning to find out about hunger in Washington D.C. When they realized that 1 in 3 kids in D.C. doesn't have enough food, they decided to try and help solve this problem. Students created bags of trail mix to donate to D.C. Central Kitchen to give hungry children the right nutrients to help them succeed. They didn't stop there, though. Thomson students also wrote letters to DC councilmembers about the issue.
Read the full story here.
5. H.D. Cooke fights homelessness
H.D. Cooke began its service-learning process by looking at what would be beneficial to their community. Some students wrote down trash, while others saw homelessness as an issue plaguing their community. The Bulls visited Martha's Table to learn more about their issue and to get ideas on how they could tackle it. The students were able to reflect on the experience after, and many felt empowered by being able to help people.
6. Lincoln Middle School cleans the Anacostia River
Watch this major throwback video from 2011 of Lincoln Middle School's service-learning project to clean the Anacostia River. Students created a campaign to spread awareness about how dirty the river was and then took action to address the problem.
At the end of the spring season as part of the reflection phase of service-learning, students create a poster to be displayed at Jamboree! that shows their service project. These are just a few examples of the awesome posters.