Save the Bonneted Bat: A Mini-Grant Story
Mr. Lockett is a middle school teacher from Florida who said, "I value teaching service and philanthropy to students because it combines learning goals and community service in ways that integrate meaningful service and instruction with reflection that enrich students' learning experiences, civic responsibilities, and strengthens our communities." 
Over 100 6-8th grade students participated in the project Save the Bonneted Bat with the help of a 2017-18 Learning to Give mini-grant. Lockett infused the lesson Endangered Species: It's Not Too Late to help students understand and come up with ways to help save an endangered species in Central Florida.  
While learning about how natural disaster can alter wildlife and the issues surrounding environmental habitats, Bok Academy students had a chance to put those conservation practices in use building bat boxes! Upon the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, bonneted bat populations and habitats were devastated. Each student gained an opportunity to better understand endangered species in their own back-yard.  
One student said, "It not only made me appreciate woodwork, but strengthened my ability to work in a group with other students and learn about bat behavior. It should be mandatory for more classes to have service learning projects so that schools can increase its positive presence in the community. I learned that the bat houses have to be facing south-southeast." 
According to Lockett, "you have to show students how to do the task and then stand back and let them do it and only step in if you see something going wrong." Engaging students in a project that benefits the environment with the help of volunteers was very unique, impactful, and exciting for all involved. 
The Learning to Give mini-grant made this project possible. The funding provided opportunities for students in our local community to join park rangers from the wildlife management and garden conservation in a fun, hands-on and local conservation project that was meaningful and introspective. 
"Our students better understood how service-learning, servitude, and empathy are intertwined in academic studies," said Lockett.