Determined to keep service learning a robust part of the curriculum, teachers in Class 6 have woven thoughtful service projects into their distance-learning units. Students spent a recent morning putting their creative minds to work, as well, brainstorming ways that they can help others. “The theme is Interconnectivity, which we discussed in Class 6 advisory,” shared Class 6 advisor and History teacher Lisa Moy. She noted the importance of relying on each other and acknowledging the often unsung heroes of these trying times.
Students were split into four different workshops, with the first group overseen by Ms. Moy. This group worked diligently in quiet “breakout” rooms to create thank you cards for essential workers. Some also chose to write notes and create cards for their elders at Sweet Readers; a partnership program that pairs the students with older individuals with Alzheimer’s. “This really resonates with them. I’m so proud of these girls,” gushed Ms. Moy.
In the second section, led by English teacher Mallory Neidich, students had the option to record a video of themselves reading a book, playing an instrument, singing or demonstrating another talent. The workshop was heavily student-driven, as they mulled over ways to share their ideas and talents with younger children in the Chapin community.
Collaborating on Zoom, together they created a Google Doc and developed partner pairings based on the desired age range for those with whom they wished to share, the type of book to read (chapter vs. picture book), and overall video content. They also discussed the technology tools available to them to record, with guidance from Middle School Technology Department Head Trude Goodman, who had popped into the lesson to check progress.
The third group, filled with mask-makers, gathered with their teachers, Suzanne Zekonis and Yolanda Martin, to discuss different ways to make masks, with Ms. Zekonis reminding them that step-by-step instructions could be found in the Resources folder in Academic Manager. They then broke into smaller groups, with one using sewing machines and another making masks by hand. The hand-sewers showed each other their colorful fabric masks and shared an easy no-sew technique using hair elastics to hold it in place.
Teacher Fanny Sosenke and Trude Goodman oversaw the final “videos of encouragement” group, who were making videos for essential workers. The students bounced ideas off each other and worked on writing short scripts. Then, they dispersed to smaller groups to record their videos using iMovie. One group generously offered to share their script with this writer, and it was clear, through their tone and diction, how truly grateful they are for the hard work and sacrifices of others. The students also made thank-you signs to include using stock images (of doctors, emergency rooms, etc.) and music to enhance their videos.
While still works-in-progress, the Class 6 students are excited to share their inspiring work in the future, via Chapin’s website or social media channels.