At this site, you can view a newspaper article previously
published in a local Keizer newspaper-the KeizerTimes. The article
features a description of Service Learning, recent projects that have
been done by Whiteaker students, the co-ordinators and teachers of
Service Learning and Quest and Health classes. Please sit back, relax,
and read the following article.
Lesson Plans Enlist Kids in Service--for
(By Travis Moore Of the KeizerTimes)
If you've noticed more and more young people helping with
community service around Keizer, you aren't alone.
With the help from a $10,000 grant received through the
Oregon Department of Education, every Whiteaker Middle School student
be doing some kind of service-oriented learning this school year.
In service learning, students learn real-life skills while
helping their community. Whiteaker teachers have used service learning
in recent years, but only in a few special classes.
Students in Michelle Grabenhorst's seventh grade Quest Class
have done service learning projects for the last seven years. The Quest
Class teaches students life skills. Heather Burns has also taught
learning in her eighth grade health class in recent years.
But the $10,000 grant ensured that every Whiteaker student
will try service learning this year. Most of the money has gone toward
training teachers for service learning.
Grabenhorst and Burns have been involved in that process with
Whiteaker's teachers. And now that most of the training is done,
Whiteaker students can be found all over Keizer -- ringing Salvation Army
bells, helping the Keizer Police Department, being mentors for younger
students and helping teachers in the local elementary schools.
Students decide which projects to do. After breaking into groups
of about four, the kids identify a need in their community. Then they
decide on a project to help meet that need. The students plan the
project themselves and carry it out. Afterward, they review and
celebrate their accomplishments.
Whiteaker sixth graders are doing service projects in their classrooms
or around the school. Seventh graders are tackling larger projects
around the school, or on field trips -- such as a trip to the
beach to pick up litter. Eighth graders go into the community and do
projects around Keizer.
"If we hadn't gotten the grant, we wouldn't be doing this school
wide," Grabenhorst said. "Every student will be doing something with
service learning. They apply things they have learned in the classroom
like math, reading, or science -- and they fill a need in the
Donna Wyatt's eighth grade students were among the first to begin.
"Most of the students want to just jump into their projects," she
said. "There has been talk of a fundraiser for the Keizer skate park.
Some kids are showing interest in mentoring -- where eighth graders would
befriend sixth graders and help them with the transition into
"Some expresses interest in doing some anti-vandalism things after the
vandalism that happened here. Some were thinking about doing fundraisers
to raise money to help cover the cost of the damage done during the
Recently, some of Wyatt's eighth graders have helped with physical
education classes at Clear Lake Elementary School, rung bells for the
Salvation Army at the Keizer Safeway, and helped out at the Keizer Police
Ryan Pillsbury, who helped at Clear Lake, said it was a good way.
"These are good little kids," he said. "They tire me out. It
seems like they like having us here."
Ryan Pillsbury, Jordan Purdy, Cary Fitzpatrick and Brian Kissler
helped out at the Keizer Police Department last year by cleaning squad
as part of a seventh grade service project. Fowler and Perkins teamed
with Andy Austin this year to help with the local police again.
"We did it last year -- so we know what we are doing," Fowler said.
"We thought the police station could use the help."
In addition to doing projects, students used a digital camera to
build a Web site to explain what they are doing. Students also prepared
brochures about their efforts.
Keizer may benefit from Whiteaker students' community service for
years to come. The $10,000 was only for this year, but Burns said the
school can apply for a grant for the 1998-99 school year that would be
aimed toward projects instead of teacher training.
"My dream for the future is to have a service learning elective
where students can tackle bigger tasks," she said. "We've had great
support from community businesses in this, and we couldn't do it without
help from parents.
"It's been great. It gives students a chance to use the tools
they have gained in the classroom. I've never had a student ask me why
we do this. They never wonder about the value of the projects or why
they are important.
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