Ms. Drew is a 4th grade Administrative Lead Educator and Ms. Miller is a 4th grade educator at San Diego Global Vision Academy in California. Ms. Drew said, “One of my core values is that service-learning is essential for all students to participate in, as it integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.” 

Just under 50 4th grade students participated in the service-learning project Fourth Graders Feeding San Diego. The Learning to Give lesson Discovering Childhood Hunger taught students about the reality of hunger and food insecurity in their region and with the lesson, students began to understand the need for nutritious and reliable food sources. Students learned about the concept of philanthropy and the difference between for profit and non-profit companies, which was important as they worked with Feeding America. 

The fourth-graders went to the Feeding San Diego Distribution Center, where they took a tour of the facility, then volunteered their time to sort produce and other non-perishables for food banks, donation centers, and backpack bags for various Title I schools around San Diego county. 

Before and after the trip, students were able to pursue self-directed research about hunger and poverty in their community. With that information, they created signs to post around the school in order to encourage donations and bring awareness. During the entire process, students were positive and worked together to accomplish their self-set goals. 

“Everyone left the distribution center feeling good about themselves and glad to help others in need,” said Ms. Drew. The lasting impact of this project was that many parents commented about how their students had come home excited, and some asked if their family could volunteer there too. 

“I believe that this project helped students to look at their own wants and needs, especially in comparison to some other kids their same age who are not having their basic needs (like reliable food) met,” Ms. Drew said. Many of the students were inspired to continue to volunteer more of their time and talents after they saw the impact of their work at Feeding San Diego.