Students at my school rarely experience anything beyond their front door. My students attend an inner-city high-risk school that just started to make AYP the past two years. Nearly 100% of my students live in low-income housing. We are considered an English Language Learner school because the majority of our population speak another language at home and learn English at our school. My students are third grade students in a general ed classroom who are thirsty for authentic experiences. They absorb all of the knowledge I can give them, but they desire to apply it to the world they live in and make connections linking their content knowledge to experiences. There is not any funding at my school for field trips or authentic learning experiences at my school. I have been successful this school year at inviting community leaders to visit my class. However, I have been unable to find the funds to provide experiences.
My students have been really interested in civic awareness and community involvement this school year. They created a recycling program at my school, and this service-learning experience was their initiative. We have just started to study plants in science. They mentioned how fun it would be to plant their own seeds and see them grow. Only one of my nineteen students has ever planted a seed or a plant before. Living in the inner-city, most of my students will never have the opportunity to plant a flower or vegetable garden. One student pointed out several planter boxes on campus that are filled with grass and weeds. We decided as a class that it would be a fun learning experience to replace the grass and weeds with flowers and desert plants as a service project for our school. As part of the service-learning project, students will also be participating in a reflection process following the project, in which they will continue to analyze their individual learning process. They will continue to measure the growth of the plants and chart their development until the end of the school year.
I approached my principal and presented our proposal. He was so supportive, he encouraged all of the third grade to participate in the service-learning project and fill all of the planter boxes with flowers and desert plants. He agreed this was a project that would truly benefit our students and provide an authentic learning experience they would never forget. It is also an opportunity to invite the teachers, students, parents and community members to the school campus to work together and participate in an engaging learning experience. In order to carry out this project, our class is in need of materials. We need enough seeds, desert plants, and soil to fill 15 planter boxes at my school. This project will be done on a Saturday, and students will be in need of a snack and some water. My students have only had the opportunity to learn about plants from a book in the past, and through your contribution, you will be providing an experience they will never forget. Without your contribution, this meaningful learning experience would not be possible.
As a result of your contribution to our service-learning project, my students will be participating in an authentic learning experience that will promote higher level thinking and student engagement. The students will feel a greater connection to their school because they will have contributed something to the campus through their service. As my students learn about plant parts, growth and development, the plant life cycle, and photosynthesis, they will better retain the information learned in this unit because they will be able to connect this content to a meaningful experience. My students will be more engaged in the learning process and you will be providing my students, as well as one-hundred other third grade students, the opportunity to serve our school by beautifying our 50-year-old campus through this service-learning project.
|SOIL- PLANTING(8QTS/8LBS)/PK1 • Sargent Welch||$3.56||15||$53.40|
|Dwarf Marigold Seeds for Germination - Dicot • Nasco||$1.99||35||$69.65|
|YO-HO Steel General Purpose Shovel • Nasco||$15.39||4||$61.56|
|KELLOGGS MIXED BERRY FRUITY SNACKS, 2.5OZ, 48/CS -- Kellogg's Mixed Berry Fruity Snacks • Quill Corporation||$26.09||3||$78.27|
|SUCCULENT PLANT • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$6.50||20||$130.00|
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