We hope that our endeavors will create awareness about why we need to help the homeless and impoverished population of New York City and efforts that are being done to ensure that children of all socio-economic backgrounds have access to healthy food. Through a variety of projects and fundraisers, that will include a class magazine dedicated to social issues, a musical fundraiser, the creation of a new "Compassionate Kids" website which will feature humane articles, book reviews and more written by our students, a palm oil free bake sale and other activities,, we hope to raise money for a local charity that students will choose and help facilitate a more kind, caring and compassionate school community. We hope that students will be inspired to make a difference, be empathetic, respectful and compassionate towards everyone and continue their mission to make the world better and brighter--even once they graduate.
Students will be involved in social issues book clubs (especially those that deal with homelessness and poverty). They will continue to be involved independent-partner research activities where students will design their own goals and essential open ended research questions (assisted by the teacher, of course). Students will be involved in a variety of fiction and non-fiction reading from a variety of resources including the internet, magazines, books and more. I hope to have them make virtual or real visits to a food pantry or local institution that helps impoverished families. I hope they can interview people who once were homeless and turned their lives around. Students will participate in letter writing campaigns, create videos, petitions, and conduct school wide assemblies, alerting the school community about their issues and what we can do to help. In addition, they will create their own website that will feature a variety of articles, book reviews, blogs and more about their “Fly Away Home” and “Making a Difference” experiences. They will create a class magazine with feature articles about their causes (and which they can hopefully sell for a worthwhile cause) and build a new "Compassionate Kids" website. We also hope to have a palm oil free bake sale. Our culminating activity will be a musical fundraiser (based on a book about a “humane” cause) that will raise money for a charitable local organization that helps the needy population. In addition, each child will create a “Fly Away Home” scrapbook that will feature their responses to all activities with photos, articles, essays, reflections, book reviews and much more. They will invite the public to respond to their blog posts, videos and hopefully, receive responses to their letter writing campaigns and petitions. And we hope to raise a lot of $$$ with our musical fundraiser, palm oil free bake sale and sale of class magazine. They will continually self assess their learning with frequent personal reflections, partner activities and Socratic Seminar style class discussions that will take place throughout the process.