CES Students Engaged in Service Learning for Flood Relief
Recently with the flooding of Hurricane Irene a lot of students and educators were left wondering how they could help without physically going to a flood site and volunteering. We all knew that whatever was done, it needed to be swift and immediate. At Calais Elementary these feelings were felt by many of the school community.
After just finishing a class taught by Rumney teacher Katy Farber on service learning, Calais Health/ PE teacher, John Fish, thought this would make a great jumping off point to initiate service learning into the school health education curriculum. After brainstorming with several staff via e-mail it was decided that the school would hold a bake sale / food drive / coin drop on the night of Open House. The students were part of the brainstorming in grades 3-6 during a health class. Many great ideas were generated by the kids. The kids also decided that the Open House idea was a good one, so it was a go!
The difference between service learning and community service is that connections are made with the school curriculum, and the kids do all the planning and execute the service. The teacher helps to facilitate the process leaving the ownership to the students.
While the kids made posters for the bake sale / food drive / coin drop they viewed a DVD called The Red Wagon. This video talks to the importance of food shelves and the importance of supporting them for all users, as well as the importance of volunteering within one’s community. A letter was also drafted and sent home with each child and put in the school’s newsletter.
The night of Open House each class sent two representatives to work at the bake sale / food drive / coin drop area to sell and run the sales and donation tables. The night ended up to be a huge success! During math 3rd graders counted up all the money raised, the food was weighed, and each child signed a huge “Thank You” banner to thank the residents of Calais for their support.
The total weight of the food was 240 lbs, with $688.87 raised through bake sale and coin drop! Many thanks go out to the kids and residents of Calais for the much need support to our fellow Vermonters.