For the Media

Featured Grantee: Students Pick Their Own Passion Projects in Unlikely Pairing of Service Learning and Language Arts

When budget cuts moved Katrina Macht out of a role coordinating service learning and back into the classroom at Hillside Intermediate School in Bridgewater, NJ, she wanted to make sure the school’s long history of service projects didn’t end.

Today, the school’s Youth Engaged in Service Through the Arts (YES A+) project challenges language arts and science students to identify “problems of importance to them”—everything from puppy mills to child labor to climate change.

What do students work on throughout the year?

  • Assuming leadership roles to organize and implement special events
  • Working with an artist-in-residence program, in which a teaching artist helps them develop short performance pieces about their projects
  • Collaborating with community agencies, a teaching artist, and other students

… and more

What impact did these projects have on students? One sixth grade student created an interactive presentation about the problems caused by puppy mills and presented it at the school’s annual community festival.

Now in its third year, YES A+ has been integrated into the district’s curriculum for all language arts teachers to use the service-learning framework.

Read the full story to learn more about how the NEA Foundation grant helped fund this project.

Don’t miss our October 15, 2013 deadline to apply for $2,000 or $5,000 grant.

Want to see more? Check out a video of Macht’s students in action.

Share your thoughts: what kind of service learning projects are your students working on?

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