This past holiday season, third graders from St. Clement School and their families made holiday cards for deployed U.S. soldiers.
Students learned about some of the sacrifices our troops make when joining the military. Students learned to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and consider how other people feel.
Students set the goal for how many cards we should send and then figured out how many cards each student needed to make to reach that goal. Students decided how to decorate their cards and what to write inside. Students also decided to ask their families to sign/make cards also.
Students spread holiday cheer in hopes of brightening the day of over 400 US soldiers who were away from their families for the holidays. Students reflected by having a class discussion about why we did the project, how they hoped the cards made the soldiers feel, and what else they can do for our troops in the future. Students then wrote in their journals by reflecting on the project by writing a prayer for our troops.
If you are a teacher would like to have your students participate in a similar project, here is how it aligns with state standards:
CS.3.1 Respond to the need to care for and share their gifts of time, talent, possessions, etc.
W.3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
The Northern Kentucky Youth Advisory Board brings together some of the top student leaders in the region to engage and learn from each other. It empowers them to be agents of change in their schools and communities.
Sixth and Seventh graders from St. Clement incorporated service to the Ed Colina Foundation into their studies as they examined the negative effects of colonization on the continent of Kenya. In particular, they examined the long-lasting results of overpopulation, poor economic growth, and unstable government in the country of Kenya.
Students conducted their own research and created informative brochures to demonstrate what they have learned about Kenya. Students also invited a guest speaker to come and share his own experiences living in this country and read short African Folktale stories.
In their Religion coursework, students learned about The Catholic Social Teachings, this particular project focuses on the Catholic Social Teaching of Solidarity.
In math class, students counted and took inventory of the art pieces and jewelry to sell.
During lunch and the school’s Open House, students in the 6th and 7th grade created an informative display about their service learning project and sold jewelry and art raising $800 for the Ed Colina Foundation.
At the end of the project, students will write a reflection essay on how this project affected their everyday lives and how it makes them look at the world differently now. They also will make any suggestions on how they think the project can be improved.
Students all across Northern Kentucky took action to help victims of the recent hurricanes and educate others of survival tips and ways they can mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
Camp Ernst Middle School
1. Informational Hurricane Brochures
Sixth grade students at Camp Ernst Middle School researched many different hurricanes and also the different precautions that should be taken during their curriculum focused on weather and natural disasters. Students learned about the formations, dangers and what ends hurricanes. They also performed extensive research on past hurricanes, fatalities and how to make survival kits for future. Students interviewed survivors and decided the greatest impact they could have would be to create survival tips and brochures.
2. Coffee Cart to benefit hurricane victims
Students review and discuss CNN Student News daily. In doing so, current events are presented in a personalized way so that students understand what is happening in the world, as well as how it affects them. With the recent hurricanes along the coastal areas many people have lost their homes and personal possessions and are struggling to survive. Students operate weekly a mobile coffee kiosk. For two weeks, proceeds from this coffee kiosk were donated to the American Red Cross to provide aid for hurricane victims.
3. The Principal’s Leadership Team Fundraiser
The Principal’s Leadership Team raised money for the victim’s of the current hurricanes. In the process students had to collaborate, communicate, and use their critical thinking skills. Through the process, students learned compassion through giving back to their communities. The students came up with the idea, organized and implemented the entire project.
Gray Middle School
8th grade students at Gray Middle School created a project using the guiding question: As engineers, how can we propose a plan to mitigate the effect of natural disasters in our community?
Students from the Imagineering Academy produced original works of art to sell at the Ryle Craft Show in an effort to raise funds for Esquela Pepita Garriga en Caguas, Puerto Rico. Their original art met state standards for composition, color theory, and planning and modeling designs. Students learned how to put a monetary value on an artwork and sell it for commission. They learned new techniques and skills in painting, building, and 3D modeling. They also learned communication skills and public presentation. Students assisted in ongoing efforts to support the replacement of classroom supplies for the school in Puerto Rico and community outreach.
Longbranch Elementary School
Students set up a market to sell crafts, performance of things from Puerto Rico culture, dinner of Puerto Rico dishes raising over $3,000.
Ockerman Elementary School
Third graders at Ockerman Elementary contributed spare change to donate to the Houston Diaper Back. Students then counted the donations totaling $783, wrote and reflected about the experience.
St. Henry School
First graders read a story about hurricanes, looked at the pictures of St. Henry’s charity school in Texas, and we created cards of encouragement for them as well as brought in school supplies to send.
Depending on the grade level, students were taught about Hurricanes as Harvey was occurring. Some classes used current events pages and websites. The 5th-8th grade watched updates on CNN 10 and Channel One and read articles in scholastic magazines. After students learned about the devastation in Texas we asked them what we could do, or what they could do to help. There were a lot of ideas on what types of things we could collect and donate. It was concluded that we would find a school in Texas that was affected by the hurricane directly or because of flooding. Once we contacted a school that was willing to receive our help we held a fundraiser called Hats for Harvey. Students were able to be out of uniform and/or wear a hat to school for a donation, raising $600.
Fourth and fifth grade students in the Thornwilde Elementary chorus performed for seniors in their community this past holiday season. Students visited, Rosedale Green, a senior living home to sing holiday carols and visit with senior citizens in their community. Students learned different songs and melodies to share with the community. The senior citizens’ favorite song was “Auld Lang Syne.”
GO Pantry provides food to Boone County (Northern Kentucky) children who do not have enough to eat at home. For reasons identified by the school, GO BOXES and GO BAGS are provided to students who will not receive the food they need on the days that school is not open. During the school year students receive breakfast and lunch during the school day. When school is not in session, many of them do not eat. GO Pantry provides food for students during the times they are not in school.
5th graders at Ockerman Elementary researched, gave speeches, advertised, counted/sorted cans for Go Pantry. As a result, students became more passionate and compassionate people and writer and were able to let others know of needs in the community.
A third-grade classroom and the Recyclones club led the Go Pantry campaign at Burlington Elementary. The Recyclones members set a goal and publicized the event by creating posters to hang throughout the school. Announcements were also written and shared daily. A goal chart was made and daily counts were recorded. Students were promised an incentive of PJ day if the goal of 500 cans was met. Students went well beyond that goal and also received a hat day for their efforts. Students learn how to show empathy, compassion, and friendship towards others.
Students at Goodridge Elementary collected non-perishable foods that support our Backpack Buddies (food sent home on weekend with students who might not have food available) as well as area food banks. Students learned about hunger and how it touches people all around their school and community. Students build the food mountain and help to weigh and count all of the food that is given. We have a group called the “Caring Cardinals” who put the food bags together for the Backpack Buddies.
The GMS 5K is a fundraiser for our holiday drive which will help students within our community receive help during the holidays. Students at Gray Middle School raised $4,000 to support their community.
Art students at Cooper High School took on a very powerful art project. Students received photos of Syrian child refugees and created a realistic portrait in any medium for the child. The art students learned how art can act as a megaphone for the social injustices and the needs in our community. Students began promoting this issue through social media and through gallery at school. As a result, students gained compassion and advocated for the needs of Syrian refugees.
Art students at Cooper High School participated in this project through The Memory Project.
The Memory Project is a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as violence, disasters, extreme poverty, neglect, and loss of parents.
They want the portraits to help the children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their well being, and to act as meaningful pieces of personal history in the future. For the art students, we want this to be an opportunity to creatively practice kindness and global awareness.
To do this, The Memory Project receives photos of children and teens from global charities operating residential homes, schools, and care centers in a number of different countries every year.
Then they provide our participating art teachers with full-page color prints as well as digital copies of those photos, along with plastic sleeves to protect the finished portraits. The art teachers then work with their students to create the portraits, and we hand-deliver them to the kids. We always try to have several different portraits for each child, created by different art students and based on different poses.
Finally, The Memory Project makes a video of each delivery to share with all of the art students and teachers involved. Since 2004 they have created more than 100,000 portraits for children in 43 countries. For more information, check out their FAQs.
5thgrade students made products, speeches, and advertisements through their unit on economics. Students learned how to sell, research, and advertise a good. Students were able to make enough money to buy enrichment furniture for the classrooms to help students focus more in class. The students chose which furniture to buy for the classroom and wrote their own speech and advertisement.
It may seem daunting to start a garden at your school or to pick up where another class has left off, but Stephens Elementary has well documented their successful process to share with others:
Stephens Elementary Garden Club started with 20 students in the spring of 2017. Students were then split into 4 groups with 1 student named as the group leader. Group names were developed and journals were created for recording important dates, ideas, and reflection.
Students began with an assessment of the grounds. Two groups created a list of priority jobs needing to be done in the garden. Two other groups researched planting indoor seedlings.
In the spring, the club focused on cleaning up 9 over grown raised beds, dismantling 2 rotted beds, and weeding the grounds surrounding the beds. The students planted tomato, pepper and lettuce and various herbs by seed. Seed markers were created, and materials for recycling to create art for the garden were investigated.
In late spring, students created 2 herb beds out of recycled wood pallets. Students painted patterns in collaboration with the art teacher and their garden group. Designs were recorded in journals and agreed upon prior to the project. Students researched garden designs on IPads and created designs in their journals.
The students’ last days before summer break was spent weeding, reflecting about their garden needs and journaling thoughts for the fall. The groups determined that they would investigate cold frame gardening in the fall.
Upon returning to school in the fall of 2017, the gardening club continues with 14 returning members and one new member with continued interest.
Students started the year weeding and cleaning up their raised beds and researching cold weather plants for fall. They documented plants they were interested in planting and after further research found that planting by seed was not always an option. Students made a list of plants and flowers that we could grow during the cold season: garlic, spinach, kale, mustard greens and lettuce. Students also decided to plant chrysanthemums to add color and interest.
One teacher commented on the work of the students, “The students’ hard work is starting to have an effect on our school! Many teachers have commented on how happy they are to see all the weeds gone outside their classrooms.”
The garden club also partnered with a local Eagle Scout to build a little library for the garden. The school’s custodian volunteered to work with the Garden Club to build a cold frame.
The garden club received a donation from Kinman Farm for a fall display of pumpkins for decorating the garden area, and later dried seeds for pumpkin planting in the spring.
In October, the Garden Club worked outside weeding beds, watering and harvesting spinach and kale. The students were excited to see how their seeds had developed into plants. Tasting and picking fresh greens from our garden was a highlight for many students that have never had those experiences.
Near the end of October, the cold frame and little library were completed and installed. The Garden Club will not officially meet again until spring, however, students created a schedule to determine who will be responsible for checking on the garden’s needs during school hours– watering, picking, and weeding until spring.
We can’t wait to hear what spring of 2018 has in store for the Stephens Elementary Garden Club!
If you’d like to start a garden at your school, consider checking out the Civic Garden Center’s 52 Weeks in the School Garden.
At the beginning of this school year, 8th graders at Ockerman Middle School presented advice to the 6th graders on how to “survive” (or be successful) over the next 3 years of middle school. Through this project, 8th graders followed the steps of the writing process, cited personal evidence, developed a thesis, and incorporated technology. Students learned oral presentation skills, organization, and compassion for their fellow classmates. The students decided what advice to present to the 6th graders as well as providing their personal examples as support. They also had their choice in how to present the information. The relationship between 6th and 8th graders at Ockerman Middle School has certainly changed. The 8th graders did a great job helping the 6th graders to feel more comfortable in the school building.