Monday, May 6, 2019

Philanthropy Partners: A Collaboration Between Elementary Schools

The spring semester brings about a lot of change. One of the biggest changes is the anticipation for current fifth graders, as they begin to think about and prepare for middle school. The transition into middle school can be challenging. To help ease that transition, the GATES teachers at Lakeview Elementary (Mrs. Andrews & Mrs. Blake) and Beck Elementary (Mrs. Moses & Mrs. Pickett) teamed up for a dual campus philanthropy project. 
By definition, a philanthropy project promotes the welfare of others, expressed especially by the donation of money and goods. Students were tasked with choosing a nonprofit organization within the community that aligned with their own unique passions and interests. For Ella, having a voice and choice was very important. “I like that we got to pick our own interests and that we didn’t have to do one thing and one thing only.” A variety of organizations were researched, with the primary focus being children, women, senior citizens, the homeless, veterans, animals (domestic and wild), literacy, environmental issues, and sports. Once students had a general idea on the type of organization they wanted to pursue, they completed a Google Form which helped teachers group them with peers. 

The groups were made up of students from both campuses. This meant some of their group members would not be available for face to face collaboration on a daily basis because they were at another school. Nakkitha was especially excited about the cross-campus collaboration. “I loved how we got to collaborate with people outside of our school because we got to meet new people and make new friends”. As group members dove into more specific research on their common interests, they utilized Flipgrid and Google Slides to communicate. These platforms allowed group members to continue the “conversation” even after their scheduled GATES time was over. Check out this Mixtape to hear a sampling of the group interactions. A walking field trip from Lakeview to Beck was also planned into their work time to allow groups face to face interaction.

Click the image above to view Shark Tank presentation
Groups were tasked with creating a digital presentation and pitch to be presented Shark Tank style. Their presentation would introduce the organization, explain why that organization was selected, and share how the community could get involved. They would also have an opportunity to present their marketing plan, which would include plans for advertising their project at both campuses. Groups created mockup flyers, commercials, scripts for announcements, dress up day calendars, bulletin board plans, and social media posts for the panel of “sharks” to consider. 

Click image to view the student created commercial
Both campuses came together for pitch day. Groups were able to share their presentation with the panel and their peers. The shark vote, coupled with the student vote, determined which project would be selected and rolled out at both campuses. The group representing the organization Sixty and Better was selected. At that point, the marketing plan from the student presentation began coming to life at Beck and Lakeview through campus-wide dress up days and a donation drive. Students in the GATES classes were each assigned a role in ensuring the logistics for the project were handled appropriately on their campus. Shashwat was one of the project managers. “I was in charge of keeping everything organized and well managed. This has taught me how to be a good leader and that as a good leader, patience is important”. It did not take long for all students involved to get plugged in. They were eager to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Check out what some of these students at Lakeview had to say. They made their podcast debut with an episode dedicated to the work being done for Sixty and Better.

Service learning projects are powerful learning experiences for all students. As Social Emotional Learning becomes a bigger focus throughout the district, these types of projects help students become responsible decision makers. They build social awareness, self-awareness, and relationship skills. They foster one’s personal well-being and the importance of self-management. They impact the whole child. For more information on other service learning projects happening at Beck Elementary, take a listen to the latest episode of the Bulldog Bulletin.

Final numbers from the campus donations will be posted to the blog upon the project’s completion. Please check back soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.