What is the Service Learning Network?

The Service Learning Network promotes service-learning projects around the greater Cincinnati area. We generate professional quality photographs, video, interviews and news articles.  The content can be used on school websites and social media platforms and the network has a strong track record of successfully placing the stories with local media – television, print and online.

For more information please read our guide or submit a request for coverage: http://bit.ly/SLNrequest.

Service Learning Network Video from Steve Oldfield on Vimeo.

SOAR Summer Camp Serves Animal Shelter

Even with school out for summer, the halls of Ludlow High School were flooded with students of 7th, 8th, and 9th grade attending Ludlow Independent School’s SOAR summer program. Through four weeks in June, these 40 kids gained life skills and knowledge to help them as they navigate their educational and future career paths.

SOAR is a program at Ludlow Independent Schools that is funded by a 21st Century Grant. NaviGo Coach and SOAR Director Melanie Beccaccio works with students during the school year as well as in the summer months to encourage students’ exploration in different career opportunities.

With an obvious focus on progressive academics, each of the summer program’s four weeks contained a different theme. Week One they hit the ground running with the theme “Survivor.” Including survival skills, team work, and physical fitness. Entering Week Two, the students focused on technology with “How It Works,” visiting GE and Toyota to get hands on experience with automation engineering. Week Three students experimented with the arts as “Photography” was the theme. The campers received training from a professional photographer and thereafter took pictures at the Cincinnati Zoo. The kids then had a photo editing session where they designed personal photo books in Shutterfly that they all will be receiving in the near future. Finally in the last week, the SOAR campers focused on Service Learning. With their service work, the animals and staff members at Kenton County Animal Shelter reaped the benefits.

In this final week, the 7th, 8th, and 9th graders attended three presentations- one was from dog trainer Mike Dixon from Tri-State Canine Obedience, the second from Lieutenant Bart Beck with his dog, Oakley (a Kenton County Animal Shelter rescue), from the Ludlow Police Department’s K9 unit, and the final from entrepreneur Allie Klegg, who started Allie’s Walkabout, a jack of all trades dog care facility, in Crescent Springs. Thereafter, the students delivered their own presentation for family and friends at a picnic luncheon they prepared.

In theme with service learning, the students also ran a two-day fundraising campaign where they generated $692 in donations from Ludlow businesses. Some of the money donated was used to purchase items from the animal shelter’s wish list. The remainder will be used to support future service learning projects.

In addition, the students made homemade dog and cat treats, dog toys, and pet beds made from PVC pipes and sturdy material that can hold even the largest of the shelter’s dogs. On Thursday, students visited the Animal Shelter to deliver the gifts, and got to spend time with some of the shelter’s ready-to-adopt pets.

“Holding four week-long summer camps give the students time to build relationships with each other and the staff, and the opportunity to complete larger projects,” said Beccaccio. “Service Learning was a great way to wrap up this year’s summer program.  Students proved to themselves that they are capable of doing important things in their community.  They just need time and some direction.  They’re already talking about their next project!”

June, 2018 marks the third complete SOAR summer program where students are now off with a greater sense of being and knowledge in their lives. They are also able to participate in SOAR’s after school program starting in the fall.

St. Clement Second Grade Soap Service

In the name of service learning, the second graders at St. Clement School worked together to create a soap and other personal hygiene items drive to donate to St. Vincent de Paul. In accordance with the GCS (Graded Course of Study) for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the students were already learning under a personal health and wellness curriculum that have taught them to practice appropriate hygiene habits and behaviors that prevent infectious diseases.

Students also learned that hygiene related illnesses are the leading cause of death for kids around the world. They continued to learn about how germs are spread through improper hygiene habits, and learned proper hygiene habits, with a focus on hand washing.

Students learned about cultures where poverty prevents families from being able to practice hygiene that prevents the spread of germs, a large reason they came up with the idea for a personal hygiene drive.

The students learned the importance of hygiene, especially proper hand washing, and they greatly impacted the community by donating soap and other hygiene items to people in need. The students took part in hands-on-activities pertaining to the spread of germs and how proper hand washing can stop this.

Also, students worked together to come up with a letter to send home to parents to inform them on what they learned and the importance of hygiene products as well as urging them to collect and send in items for their drive. To round out all their work, the students made signs for the bathrooms at school to remind/inform students on tips for proper hand washing technique. In total, they donated 138 personal hygiene items to St. Vincent de Paul and gained a lifetime experience.