Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
Benchmark E.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
Standard VS 03. Providing Service
Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
Benchmark E.6 Describe the procedures and the importance of sensitivity to the people with whom students are working.
Through class visits, students will complete an Academic Service-Learning Project, interacting individually with senior citizens.
- Provide service in the community through an Academic Service-Learning project.
- Use narratives to compare historical and everyday life in the past and present in their local community, the state of Michigan and other parts of the United States.
- Through a narrative essay, evaluate their service learning experience.
- Sample Letter To Parents About Academic Service-Learning Project (Attachment One)
- Sample Questionnaire of Our Senior Friends (Attachment Two)
- Narrative Writing Assessment Rubric (Attachment Three)
Discuss with students the purpose of philanthropy and volunteering in the community. Ideas for questions to address about philanthropy should include:
- What is the need? (Retirees need companionship)
- Who has the need? (The retirees)
- Who is in the community? (Men and women varying in ages, some may have disabilities)
- Who fills the need? (The students)
- What talent or treasure is shared? (Time, laughter, creativeness, etc.)
- What goodness does the community experience from that giving or sharing? (Both student and retiree will benefit by developing a friendship and new respect for each other's age groups)
- What is the reward for the one who shared? (Students may experience a new friendship, a way of treating people, learn something from other generations)
- What would have happened if the need were not met? (Retirees would miss out on an opportunity for companionship and students would not discover the joys of working the older citizens)
Explain that the class will be taking part in an academic service learning opportunity with senior citizens in a retirement community. They will learn from the seniors and the seniors will learn from them. As a form of sensitivity training to prepare the students for the experience, have the director of the retirement community talk to the students. He or she may want to talk about how to interact with retirees, expectations of students, the different levels of care, etc.
Discuss possible introductory activities between seniors and students.
Introductory Visit Prior to visit Checklist
- Check with transportation department (school policies on transporting children).
- Check to make sure to have updated TB tests or any other shot requirements (may be required by the retirement community).
- Letter to parents stating the purpose of the project. (See Attachment One: Sample: Letter To Parents About Academic Service Learning Project).
- Complete volunteer application form (the retirement community may have a volunteer application form the students need to complete).
- Plan the activity, pair students and seniors.
Example of an introductory visit: Have students make a questionnaire to give to the seniors about lifetime events and some personal questions. See Sample Questionnaire of Our Senior Friends (Attachment Two).
Plan future visits which could alternate locations between the school and the retirement community. Samples of various activities or projects which could occur at the school include:
- Writing projects, with seniors helping students edit writing samples
- Gardening ideas, with seniors helping students plant flowers and shrubs, or vice-versa
- Show and Tell about generational items.
- If students are learning a foreign language, they could teach seniors different phrases/words.
- Students could teach seniors how to make a greeting card on the computer using Claris Works or another program. Students may be more technologically advanced than the seniors and might enjoy updating seniors' skills.
- Share cookies and lemonade
Samples of various activities or projects which could occur at the retirement community include:
Write a personal narrative evaluating the Academic Service-Learning project. (See Attachment Three, Narrative Writing Assessment Rubric.)