Service Learning class at Rolland-Warner is making a difference

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Steve Elzerman, Rolland-Warner Middle School

Throughout the first month of the 2013-14 school year, Mr. Elzerman’s 7th grade Service Learning class at Rolland-Warner Middle School has already been seeking to make a difference in their school community and also in the Lapeer Community. During the first week of classes, students brainstormed ideas for how they could utilize their skills and abilities to make a difference and meet a need in the community. The purpose of this course is that students will learn to use their skills to plan and execute projects which will make an impact in the community. As part of this process, students filled out job applications and were placed into various project groups. From that point on, they were given the responsibility of planning and carrying out service projects which would have an effect on the school community or the Lapeer Community.

One project that is making a difference at Rolland-Warner is the Locker Decorating project. As part of this service, students from the school are able to pay a small fee (used to purchase supplies) in order to have a friend’s locker decorated for a birthday, holiday, sporting event, or other occasion. This is certainly a great way for students to show they care for one another and to brighten someone’s day (and locker).

A couple of other projects having an effect at Rolland-Warner are the Spirit Week Team and the Classroom Libraries Team. While their goals are quite different, each group is having an impact on the school community. The libraries group has been going from one classroom to the next, using technology to assist them in sorting and categorizing books in teacher’s classroom libraries. This has been extremely helpful for many teachers in the building. Elsewhere in the school, the Spirit Week Team has been seeking to take ideas from classmates on how to improve Spirit Week and build school spirit and camaraderie.

While in class, other groups have been planning projects which will have an impact outside of the school building. These include the Animal Shelter Group, the Lapeer Community Action Group, and the Recycling Team. The Animal Shelter Group’s goal is quite simple, yet very admirable. They are simply seeking to use various fundraising methods in order to raise money which will be given to a local animal shelter, most likely to Paradise Animal Rescue, for the purchase of supplies. Meanwhile, the Lapeer Community Action Group has been holding a 7th Grade Food Drive in which students are bringing non-perishable food items for donation. These items will then be given to a family in need. After considering all options, students decided to donate to a single family so that they could see a more immediate impact of the food drive.

Last but not least, the Recycling Team has been seeking to improve the local ecosystem by encouraging the use of recycling bins rather than trash cans. They have made a few posters to place strategically in the school, and they hope to get involved with the Flint River Watershed Coalition, which is an organization committed to improving our local river system. Furthermore, they are taking recycling surveys of friends and family in order to gather data which can be used on posters.

At this point, it is already clear that these students have made an immediate impact in the community. As the year moves along, these projects will come to fruition and the full impact will be seen in the school and region. If you are interested in these projects or would like to know more, you can email Mr. Elzerman at  selzerman@lapeerschools.org.

One Comment

  1. Jean Best

    Excellent article about an interesting class. Nice to know our middle-schoolers are learning to contribute positively to their school and community. It’s a skill that will hopefully make them life-long contributors.

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