East Students Set Guidelines for Service Projects

East Students Set Guidelines for Service Projects
Posted on 09/20/2018
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6th grade EAST (Education Accelerated by Service & Technology) students at Hot Springs Intermediate School worked this week in Mrs. Rakejah Williams’ class to complete first steps toward identifying service-based projects for the school year. Service-based projects are part of EAST curriculum, and require that students collaborate with individuals or businesses to identify projects that meet needs in the community.

Before they choose projects, students work through guidelines that provide a framework for selection. They call this “CART.” There are four parts to CART: C - Critical Thinking; A - Advance; R - Real; and T - Teamwork. Students split into four groups to create  classroom-specific terminology for CART components, and create a classroom agreement to follow these guidelines throughout the school year.

Checklist items that the EAST students have agreed to include:

Choose project solutions that push you to think outside the box.

When developing project ideas, research and work with technology to find solutions to real-world problems and work with people in the community.

Improve skills by learning from failures.

Ensure that projects are specific to the needs of this community, ethically correct, and goal-based.

This exercise and others like it allow students to be part of the entire selection process of service-based projects. Educators find that the more they can encourage student engagement with creating their own experiences, the more our students benefit and grow from lessons and curriculum.

“I feel that EAST is valuable because students gain knowledge of real-world problems and work with people in the community to come up with real-world solutions to these problems. By doing so, students learn how to effectively communicate with professionals,” says Mrs. Williams. “EAST is also student-driven which provides students the opportunity to have control of their own learning process. In my opinion the best way to learn is through our experiences.”

Learn more about the EAST Initiative, which is present across 245 schools in four states including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania, here. Learn more about the HSSD Intermediate School, here.

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