What would it be like if each of us intentionally did a kindness for a stranger or stayed focused on finding a positive solution to a social issue each day for 25 days. Let us know what gifts you have given and have received by serving others.
How may we serve you?
The Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), an international non-governmental organization, states that, “Human rights are the rights that all people have simply because they are human beings.” They go on to say that, “Human rights identify the basic standards needed for people to live life with freedom and dignity.” In addition, the HREA declares that, “Individuals have the responsibility to uphold and protect the rights of others. Human rights are protected when all individuals are treated with respect, when all voices are heard and when discrimination is absent.” Students can practice protecting human rights by participating in various service-learning projects. Check out the project ideas below.
Environment – Right to Water & Food
- Grow a garden and donate food grown to a soup kitchen or shelter
- Observe health of a local waterway and advocate for clean waterways
Earth Rights International (www.earthrights.org)
Amnesty International Just Earth Program (www.aiusa.org)
Poverty – Right to Housing
- Speak out against poverty or help a homeless shelter
- Build or renovate homes to provide adequate housing
Habitat International Coalition (www.hic-mena.org/home.htm)
Center for Economic Social Rights (www.cesr.org)
Discrimination – Right to Freedom from Discrimination
- Provide a cultural celebration for immigrants or refugees
- Compile a list of facilities that provide access to people with disabilities
American Civil Liberties Union (www.aclu.org)
Disability Rights Advocates (www.dralegal.org)
Education & Health – Right to Health & Education
- Develop a human rights temperature scale & recommend strategies to improve the school environment i.e. respect, safety, resources for ELL and Special ED students, facilities etc.
- Raise awareness of the need for vaccinations, hygiene, and preventative care
Right to Education (www.right-to-education.org/)
World Health Organization (www.who.int/hhr/en/)
Law & Justice – Right to Equality Before the Law
- Host a youth court to settle disputes
- Help register voters and provide educational information about ballot issues
National Youth Court Center (www.youthcourt.net)
ACLU Voting Rights (www.votingrights.org)
Visit http://www.hrea.org/pubs/AIUSA-HREA-ServiceLearning.pdf for detailed information about the project ideas listed above.
Last week, I took a webinar offered by the National Youth Leadership Council titled “Using Technology to Strengthen Reflection”. It was a great webinar and I will be creating a series of blog posts reviewing the various tech tools they recommended for use. The first tool I will review is called Flipgrid. Flipgrid is a free website that allows teachers to create grids containing short questions to which students can respond by uploading 90 second response videos.
While I was testing the site I found many positive things, including:
- A helpful tutorial video makes learning the website extremely user-friendly.
- Options to make the grid private and password protected, so student’s identities will be safe.
- Kids will be kids, so you are also able to choose if you’d like to moderate the videos before they’re posted to the grid.
- Each grid can hold an unlimited number of questions- so you can use one grid per class.
- You can add a date to the questions making it easy to refer back.
And a couple of negatives:
- Teachers can only create 4 grids for free.
- The website can run slow at times.
Don’t limit the website to reflection questions! Flipgrid could be used in a variety of ways during service-learning projects. If you use, or have used, Flipgrid…we’d love to hear your feedback! And stay tuned for more tech tool reviews.
Students in Ms. Elise Carter’s Entrepreneurship class at Highlands High School learned that education plays a key role in breaking the cycle of poverty & homelessness. A study released by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma when compared to proficient readers.
To encourage literacy skills, the Highlands High School students visited Moyer Elementary on October 15th to create a fun, yet educational, experience for their Kindergartners. Ms. Carter’s students read to the class, put on a puppet show, face-painted, and directed a smart board activity. If the high school students can show Moyer kindergartners that reading is enjoyable, hopefully the young readers will be more likely to pick-up a book and unlock the mysteries contained within its pages.
This idea is perfect for days like today where rain is coming and going across the Greater Cincinnati area. Does your school have a lot of students who walk to and from school? If so, students at your school could start an umbrella bank. This is a student-run program where students can borrow an umbrella on rainy days for their walk to/from school.
You can make this a service-learning project by having students track the weather and keep a bulletin board updated near the umbrella bank. They could keep stats on how many umbrellas are borrowed per month for a year and create a graph. They would also learn responsibility because they would need to keep records of who has borrowed and returned umbrellas from the bank.
What are some other ways to make this into a service-learning project? Please discuss in the comments!
Congratulations to Sarah Nestheide, art teacher at Cooper High School, for being named Kentucky High School Art Educator of the Year! The honor was awarded during the Kentucky Art Education Association’s Conference held in Louisville. Ms. Nestheide has also been nominated for National High School Art Educator of the Year. The winning educator will be announced at the National Conference in New Orleans, March 2014. Ms. Nestheide is the Service Learning Liaison at Cooper High School, and has taught her students the value of giving back to the community through many amazing service learning projects. We are very proud of her efforts!
In recognition of Breast Cancer awareness month, Highlands High School hosted their annual Pink Out Event during the October 18th football game against Holmes High School. Highlands’ students raised awareness and money for Chicks & Chucks, Inc., a group that provides support for survivors fighting against Breast Cancer in Northern Kentucky. Not only did the Highlands Family support this event, students from Holmes High School showed their spirit by supporting the Pink Out too. Highlands High School raised $1,226.00 to help continue the good work provided by Chicks & Chucks, Inc. For more information about this event, please contact Ms. Elise Carter at Highlands High School, email@example.com.
If you haven’t been to the newly renovated Kenton County Public Library, you must go! And Saturday, October 26 is the perfect day for your first visit.
On a sneak peek tour, we found the Children’s Department to be everything a child’s library should be. There are computers, not for the Internet, but for helping educate children. On Oct. 26, the library will unveil the gorgeous art work (we got a little teaser, as you can see above). The outdoor children’s reading garden is delightful (and for children and their families only).
The Kentucky History Department is now located in the old children’s department, on the top floor. An exciting service the library provides is a photo scanner. Patrons can bring in their photos to scan and the library will save copies for their archives, as well as giving users a CD copy of all their photos.
A service project for older students could involve helping senior citizens research their ancestry. Younger students could assist adults who cannot read by reading to them. There is also someone available to help with resumes, if older students would like to practice theirs as part of a Program Review: Practical Living–Career Education project.
There are a myriad of ways to use all the library’s resources for a service learning project. We are very lucky to have such an incredible resource in our community.
Nutrition is vital for children because their bodies are still forming. Bones, muscles, organs, and brain tissue are developing rapidly. The habits being formed should be healthy ones. Good nutrition and exercise are essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Insufficient financial resources, little or no access to healthy foods coupled with easy access to fast food, lack of exercise, and food addictions can contribute to America’s unhealthy lifestyles and obesity issues. What are some ways our students can help? Below are a few ideas that might spark a service-learning project:
- Create a fun recipe book that children can use to make healthy after-school snacks
- Substitute healthier ingredients for unhealthy ones when preparing traditional meals
- Build a community garden to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to inner-city neighborhoods
- Study the leading causes of death due to unhealthy lifestyles and create a public awareness campaign
- Discover a solution for picky eaters and share with parenting magazines or blogs
- Learn about and advocate for those with food addictions or eating disorders
- Study food-borne illnesses and educate others on how to prevent them
- Understand childhood hunger and prepare a meal for the homeless at Tender Mercies
- Raise money to support a non-profit such as Share our Strength to end childhood hunger
- Volunteer and donate to the Freestore Foodbank
- Become an advocate: tell Congress why cuts to federal nutrition programs would be devastating
- Design and produce an exercise video for elementary students or after-school programs
Resources: Department of Agriculture, Feeding America
Scholarship Opportunity: Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship
Deadline- December 5
Ages- 5- 25
For youth that are driving awareness & mobilizing youth to be catalysts for innovative models that find solutions to eliminate hunger. Recipient will receive $5,000 for their education + $5,000 for a hunger-related charity. Visit www.Sodexofoundation.org for more information.
Mindset Works is a website dedicated to bringing educators together who are always seeking ways to improve their techniques in the classroom by encouraging a growth mindset amongst students as a way to help them become better prepared for their futures; motivation is the key to achievement.
The following articles are a two-parter discussing the introduction and development of the growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence, ability, and talent can be developed and “grown” while a fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence, ability, and talent are fixed and cannot be changed. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, learn from their mistakes, and view effort and hard work as the pathway to success while those with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, give up easily, see effort as a sign of weakness, and fear failure and making mistakes (Dweck 2006).
Part I: http://community.mindsetworks.com/blog-page/home-blogs/entry/nurturing-a-growth-mindset-in-early-learners-across-the-developmental-continuum-leads-to-school-readiness
Part II: http://community.mindsetworks.com/blog-page/home-blogs/entry/nurturing-a-growth-mindset-in-early-learners