Mr. Craig is an educator at Charles R. Drew Transition Center in Michigan. "In the teaching and managing of special needs adults in an inner-city urban setting, it is critical that the concept of service to the community and philanthropy be taught," said Craig. "Students gain a sense of purpose in what they do and can do."
After incorporating the lessons Advisory-A Call to Action, Caring and Sharing with Eric Carle, as well as Foundations and You, 132 students participated in the service-learning project Drew Students Feeding the Community. The lessons helped the students explore what it means to contribute to the community while expecting nothing in return.
Students were able to choose among different crops and food products to grow at the farm. They managed the planting to harvest of the produce.
"We are trying to make monthly donations," said Craig. "The students wanted to donate the produce to local neighborhood pantries where people who are hungry could have a meal."
One student reflected, "The food we make for them is really good, I hope they like it." Another said, "I'm glad what we do is helping people."
The program is year-round with a summer program built-in. Food donations from now on into the future will continue. Through the Learning to Give mini-grant, the foundational process of growing food to donate to local organizations in need was built.
"This program feeds those in need and also helps increase these students' opportunities for employment once they age out of the system," reflected Craig.