Ms. Hull is a high school teacher who said, "everyone can make a difference in this world, but without the chance to see that personal power and responsibility, many students won't take that chance or step out of their comfort zone." For Ms. Hull, philanthropy and service-learning help her students make real, meaningful connections to the community.
A group of over 125 high school students participated in the service-learning project Batty for Bats. Ms. Hall infused the lessons In My Own Backyard and Understanding Advocacy to help provide a framework for observations, research, and how to motivate others to take action.
Students were to research different animals and learn about their environments and needed ecosystems. Some students-built bat houses and giant Jenga pieces and some students decorated the items with images of their researched animals.
After learning about different bat species, 12 bat houses were erected in the local park and 11 others were placed at gathering places like the library and museum. The installed bat houses included student-made bat fact cards to raise awareness about the importance of bats to the ecosystem.
"It was really cool learning about all of my animal's adaptations. I never knew that bats were so important to keeping mosquitos in check," one student said. "This was a neat project. Not only did I get to learn about my favorite animal, (sloths!). I got to share out their awesomeness with my friends and classmates too," said another.
The $500 mini-grant provided Ms. Hull's students with the tools and supplies to make 23 hand-painted bat houses and 50 hand-painted Jenga blocks.
"These students came in thinking that this wasn't possible," said Ms. Hull. "But as we went through the process of the project, their confidence grew in both their art skills and their knowledge and ability to share their work with others in the community."