Kristy Stephens

School: 
Hebron Middle School
IN
United States
Why I want my students to be involved in volunteering and service, etc. 
At Hebron Middle School, our goal is to have every student in our building participate in service events or activities. The culture of service and kindness to others makes our building a place where students can both get help and give help.
Tips for infusing philanthropy... 
The need for action became real to our students when the director of our local food pantry came to class and discussed the needs in our community. Many students were unaware that food insecurity was a problem in our small town. Student groups researched and reached out to experts in different fields to determine what they could do to help (ELA). They analyzed their own diets and nutrition (Math and Science). They explored economic and geographic issues related to food and nutrition (SS). The student groups wrote proposals identifying needs and potential solutions through local nonprofit organizations. They presented to a panel of nonprofit representatives, who determined the strongest proposalsand awarded $250 to three groups to carry out their plans: 1. One group of students donated $250 to Meals on Wheels. In addition, every student at HMS made a holiday card for Meals on Wheels recipients. 2. Another group purchased items for the food pantry that aren’t available with food stamps. Students volunteered at the food pantry as well. 3. The third group purchased food slicers and automated soap and paper towel dispensers to improve the cleanliness of food service preparation in our school and community.
I taught this LTG lesson 
Issue Area: Hunger/Homelessness/Health Learning to Give Lessons: Why Eat Organic? Global Health: What Is a Healthy Diet? Farm to Table and Food Security Focus: Students research national problems of hunger, sustainability, availability, economics, and nutrition. They propose the best way to spend a $250 mini-grant to improve the nutrition/food problems in the community.
Student Impact 
It was great seeing students interact with community members. Community members saw our students working to improve their community and working to help others. A few of our panel members were Hebron alumni; they were proud and impressed with the level of thought and work that these students put into their proposals. Students suggested ideas to the town board that wouldn't require funding that would improve the food and nutrition in our community. Our kids made lasting connections with many civic leaders. At school, our board of education recognized these students for their dedication and service to the community. As teachers, we continue to hear from students about things they have learned and service hours they have completed as a result of this project.