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Service Learning Projects




Children Reaching Out to Children

Teacher: Sarah Walker - Lincoln Park Head Start

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Head Start Students learned many ways to show they care, in particular by creating greeting cards to be purchased at St. Jude's Gala on the Lake benefit dinner/silent auction/dance. Proceeds from the sale of the cards was donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In addition, students created a personalized card to send directly to the children at St. Jude.



Let's Play Animal Enrichment

Teacher: Susie Bergman - 1st grade (Stowe)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

First grade students at Stowe Elementary created toys for birds at the Lake Superior Zoo in connection with their curriculum for reading, writing, speaking/viewing/listening, and science. Students partnered with zoo staff and visited the bird exhibit after the project's completion.

Different Communities in Minnesota

Teacher: Amy Samuel - Grades 4-5 ASD (Congdon Park)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Autistic students at Congdon Park Elementary in Duluth and Kenny Elementary in Minneapolis, MN revitalized parks in each community as a result of a pen pal relationship formed between classrooms. Students explored similarities and differences between the two communities of differing populations through the use of video and written correspondence. Duluth students traveled to Minneapolis to assist with the Kenny neighborhood park clean-up and plantings.

Community Connections

Teacher: Julie Sims - 3rd Grade (Lester Park)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Third graders at Lester Park explored the definition and characteristics of different communities through a monthly postcard and letter exchange with second graders at Lakeland Village School in Lake Elsinore, California. Students designed postcard images and honed their reading/writing skills. Half of the second graders in CA speak English as a Second Language, so the postcards helped increase their language skills.

MacArthur's Nutrition Expedition

Teachers: Valerie Stortz, Julie Busse, Cindy Rourke, Bobby Mineheine, & Linda Pelto - ASD-III K-5, DCD-III K-5, Speech/Language, 4th Grade (Laura MacArthur)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award, United Health HEROES, LISC/SVCNDA

This diverse group of students worked in the classroom, throughout the school, at home and with community partners to learn about how nutrition and healthy foods are incorporated into a healthy lifestyle to decrease the rate of childhood obesity. Focus areas changed monthly and the year culminated in a health fair with approximately 30 community partners present.

Healthy Hillsiders

Teacher: Jay Monson - 5th Grade (Nettleton)

Funding: General Mills Champion for Healthy Kids

Fifth grade students focused on health for the 2010-11 school year by studying the topics of nutrition, active lifestyles, and running. Through classroom lessons, local speakers, field trips and mentors, students built their knowledge of healthy lifestyles in order to teach their peers and the community about healthy life choices through a variety of Public Service Announcements. Several students also ran the Fitger's 5K.

Livin' the Green

Teachers: Tonya Kolenda, Gwyn Curran, Brenda Sederberg - Kindergarten (Homecroft)

Funding: Disney Friends for Change

Students practiced basic math and reading skills through composting and recycling in the classroom and in partnership with their reading buddies from other grades. Partnerships with New Page Corporation, Great Lakes Aquarium, MN Sea Grant, UMD, and the local EPA also provided students with interactive opportunities to learn about natural resources and conservation.

Pet Food Shelf

Teacher: Sherry Williams - 2nd Grade (Lester Park)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Students conducted a food drive for dog and cat owners as part of an effort to establish a permanent companion animal food shelf in Duluth. Students selected and set up collection sites around Duluth and publicized the drive with posters. In partnership with Lester Park School, CHUM, the Salvation Army, Animal Allies, Petco, several grocery stores and veterinary clinics, and a community member, the second graders collected over 500 pounds of pet food for the pet food shelf! Students used the pet food drive to study the concepts of goods and services, wants and needs, and flow chart diagrams in Social Studies. They also used the drive to practice math skills.

Ceramic Murals for New Nettleton/Grant Building

Teacher: Darlene Anna Peterson - K-5 Art (Nettleton, Grant, Merit Creek Academy)

Funding: Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation

Third through fifth grade students from Grant and Nettleton created artwork for the inside and outside of the new Grant school building. Artwork includes ceramic and painted murals, mosaic benches, relief-work in pillars, and hand-constructed birdhouses. With guidance from teaching staff, the architectural design team and their families, students chose what topics their artwork would depict, determined the placement of their pieces and assisted in the installation of their finished artwork.



Student-Friendly Morgan Park Middle School Handbook

Teacher: Alexandra Austin - Grades 6-8 English & Resource Studies Special Ed

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

The traditional Morgan Park Middle School was not readily-utilized by incoming students. Through interviews and writings, students developed a new “kid-friendly” handbook, including: insight on school culture, students’ perspectives, frequently asked questions, cartoons and school maps in addition to the school rules and code of conduct. After publication, students presented their work to elementary students and addressed questions and concerns about transitioning to middle school.

Books for Honduras (Libros para Honduras)

Teacher: Karen Isensee - Spanish I (Woodland)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Spanish students partnered with the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Arrowhead Reading Council, Scholastic Books, Barnes and Noble, and the school community to provide books for Juan Lindo School in La Ermita, Honduras. Juan Lindo is located next to an orphanage and has a shortage of elementary-level Spanish books. The students at Woodland exchanged letters with students at Juan Lindo over the course of the semester to develop their Spanish language skills. Members of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd personally delivered books to Juan Lindo School.

Ready to Read

Teacher: Deb Porter - Family and Consumer Science (Woodland and Morgan Park)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Students in FACS selected and purchased children's books as part of their Child Care and Diversity, Tolerance, and Restorative Practices units. They screened the books for age-appropriateness and content and read their selected literature to children in the community. At the end of the unit, students donated the books to United Way's Big Red Bookshelf project.

Animal Socialization and Public Affairs project with Animal Allies

Teacher: Rick Lindberg - Setting III Emotional & Behavioral Disorders (Morgan Park)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

An initial trip to Animal Allies demonstrated the significant emotional impact on students when working with cats and dogs. The students made an informational video about Animal Allies. They will now work to develp a year-long program with students visiting the shelter every three to four weeks. Students track specific animals on the Animal Allies website. They will look for ways to share their learning with other elementary and middle school students.

Bringing Back the Art of Handwritten Correspondence

Teacher: Christine Valento - 6th Grade Art (Morgan Park)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Sixth grade art students built relationships with seniors at the Benedictine Health Center by creating artwork and writing letters to exchange with the residents.



Socks for Tots

Teacher: Janine Dahlquist - FACS (East High School)

Funding: Youth in Philanthropy Northland Foundation, Minnesota Power

Students in a Child Development course regularly visit first graders at Congdon Park to observe developmental stages and rates. Students observed some of the first graders use Bethany Crisis Shelter's services and decided to knit socks for children using the shelter. The class knit approximately 30 pairs of socks.

Rockin' the Dirt, Healing the Hill: Restoring Enger Tower Global Youth Service Day

Teachers: Terrie Monson - 9-12th grade Plant Biology, Dani Westholm - 9-12th grade English (Unity High School), Mike DesCombaz - 9-12th grade ASD III (Central-Denfeld High Schools)

Funding: Disney Friends for Change

Plant biology students applied their knowledge of invasive species by training volunteers about invasive species identification and removal at Enger Park on GYSD. Students assisted with clearing buckthorn from approximately 2 acres of the park. ASD III students assisted with identification, tagging, and removal of invasive buckthorn plants at Enger Park in preparation for and as a part of Global Youth Service Day.

English students wrote poetry inspired by Enger Tower and Park as part of their poetry unit. They worked with Duluth Poet Laureate, Sheila Packa, in a poetry workshop. Students presented their writings at Enger Park on GYSD. Mayor Don Ness was present to proclaim the official observance of GYSD.

Italian Dinner for Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk

Teacher: Glenn D'Amour - 9-12th grade Culinary Arts (Secondary Tech. Ctr.)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

The staff and students at STC hosted an Italian dinner as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk in the fight against breast cancer. STC was inspired to host the dinner in support of a staff member who was diagnosed with breast cancer. The graphic arts students designed posters and tickets while culinary arts students planned, prepared, and served all aspects of the Bolognese spaghetti dinner.

Art for Enger Tower

Teacher: Terry Norton 9-12th grade Art (Central-Denfeld High Schools)

Funding: Service-Learning Northland Award

Art students studied the history of Enger Tower in partnership with the City of Duluth. Students created artwork inspired by Enger Tower, including photography, drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, and stained glass work. Artwork was donated to a silent auction and local businesses with all proceeds benefitting the Enger Tower Restoration Project. Nearly $2000 was raised.