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Service Learning – November 2014

Service-Learning and building a spirit of service in order to positively impact the world are core components of Honey Creek Community School’s mission. Curriculum-Based Service-Learning happens in the classrooms, but many students are motivated to serve others outside of school hours as well. Each year we recognize sutdents adn families who spend 50+ hours/year serving others with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The deadline to submit hours is June 10th, 2015. An awards ceremony will be held the following year to honor all recipients. On the subject of awards ceremonies, we hope to honor those students who earned the 2013-2014 award as soon as our awards arrive.

In the meantime, thank you for supporting our students as they learn to become
philanthropists, giving of their time, talents, and treasures to benefit the common good. In short, thank you for being heroes!

Curriculum-Based Service Learning News: May 2013

Maybe spring is here?  I sure hope so!  Kudos to those who’ve been out and about helping in the school garden or even in their gardens at home!  Remember, helping out in the schoolyard (garden or general clean up) is a great way to help your students participate in service hours.  Record those hours as a family and enjoy looking back at the end of the year to review all you’ve done.

If you have not read the Early Elementary article this month, go back and take a look!  They have raised a great deal of money from their Read to Feed project for Heifer International.   Congratulations to them for all their hard work!

Early Elementary News: May 2013

This month Early Elementary students are working on preparing their weather reports, which they will share at the Curriculum Celebration. They are working in groups to create a weather report that will include a “live on the scene report” (complete with a background they painted to portray their severe weather event), a five-day forecast, safety precautions, and seasonal activities for viewers once the storms have passed.

In writing, we are preparing to begin our final unit of the year. In this unit we introduce the students to poetry and help them to “see things through a poet’s eyes”, and to use details, descriptive language, and line breaks to create rhythm and imagery through their poems. They will begin the unit by bringing in special objects from home to practice seeing things in new ways.

In math, we are practicing strategies for problem-solving, including knowing our doubles and being able to solve our “doubles plus one”, counting up to add, counting down to subtract, and adding or subtracting a ten. We are also working on fluency, the ability to solve problems quickly and easily by learning math facts and applying the strategies we’ve learned.
Service Learning News: Read to Feed
Congratulations to our great readers! As they push themselves to read more and to advance to higher reading levels, our students found a way to challenge themselves while helping others. They raised money for Heifer Project International by participating in their Read to Feed program. Students gathered pledges from sponsors for each book or amount of time they read. They learned about how Heifer Project helps families around the world become self-sufficient by providing livestock and training so families can improve their own nutrition and sell products to help the family afford basic needs, including housing, healthcare, and school fees.
At the end they collected and pooled their pledges with their class and voted on what kinds of animals to purchase through Heifer Project. They were especially excited about the fact that their gift continues giving. Each family that receives an animal must then pass on the gift (offspring from their animal) and training on to another family, who then passes the gift on to another family, and so on.
Honey Creek students raised over $1000 for Heifer Project and used the donations to purchase water buffalos, chicks, rabbits, llamas, and other animals for families in need. If you are interested in participating in this program with your child outside of school, the information is available on their website: www.heifer.org.

Curriculum-Based Service Learning

 Spring weather is really coming!  This is a great opportunity to get outside and get some service hours. Raking leaves, preparing gardens and cleaning up common areas (parks, walkways, etc.) are beneficial activities in many different ways.  Keep recording those hours!
Look for the total amount raised from Read to Feed in next month’s newsletter.

Curriculum-Based Service Learning News: March 2013

Hopefully you saw the e-mail inviting you and your child to join the Honey Creek team to raise funds for Heifer International through their Read to Feed program.   “Read to Feed is a reading incentive, service-learning program that offers global education opportunities and will foster in children a love for reading, a passion to help others and a motivation to help create a better world” (From the Read to Feed website).

The process is simple.  Children obtain sponsors who agree to a donation per book or unit read.  Students collect the money by Friday, April 12 and turn that money into their base class teachers.  That money will be sent to Heifer International to buy animals for families in need.  Students can set individual goals and designate which animals they would like their money to be spent on. The link https://secure1.heifer.org/gift-catalog/ has all the available gifts that can be purchased for the families served by Heifer International.  For more information about the program visit http://www.heifer.org/getinvolved/readtofeed/.

Be in touch with any questions and I look forward to hearing how this is going for those of you who take this on!


Curriculum Based Service-Learning Notes: February 2013

Thank you to all who participated in our annual Honey Creek Blood Drive.  Our goal was to collect at least 31 pints.  We fell just a little short with 28 pints donated.  With lingering flu symptoms this was not a huge surprise!  Students who had an adult donate (or try to) on their behalf will receive their Pint-Size Hero rewards in March.

We also had a great Martin Luther King Jr. assembly at the end of January.  Students spent a week reviewing some of Dr. King’s accomplishments and thinking about what would be important enough for them to do the work that he did. They then created posters with their own message and participated in our own version of the Freedom March around our school and to the WISD building.  It was a big success!  Thank you to Lindsay Parrish and Katie Gates for supporting this work by dedicating art and choir classes to help make the day special!

Keep filling out your service hours on the logs available in the main hall of the school.  Turn completed logs into Johnny Thompson’s mailbox or to your child’s classroom teacher.

If anyone is willing to write a few sentences to share their family’s service experiences I would love to see them (and possibly share them with the school!)  Submit any write-ups to jthompson@hc.wash.k12.mi.us

Thank you!

Curriculum-Based Service Learning News: January 2013

This is a busy time of year for giving opportunities at Honey Creek!  Our school was able to collect 233 pounds of food for our November food drive to benefit Food Gatherers!  Unfortunately, this is only a drop in the bucket since Food Gatherers distributes more than 17,000 pounds of food on an average day.  This organization is always looking for donations and volunteers and would love to see anyone who can take the time to help out further.

Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 21.  To honor Dr. King’s efforts and reflect on what he and so many others gave to our country, we will be creating our own Freedom March in the spiritof the Washington March of 1963.  Students will be gathering for an assembly at 8:30 Friday, January 18.  From there, students will walk through our building and to the WISD with signs they’ve made to show what they march for.  You are welcome to join us for this event!

We are also hosting our annual Honey Creek Blood Drive on January 22 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Please reserve a time to give if you are able.

As always, keep filling out service logs. It’s very uplifting to see the ways that our community puts others first!

Curriculum Based Service-Learning: November 2012

Fall greetings!
You may have noted that Academic Service-Learning has undergone a name change to Curriculum Based Service Learning. This change was decided on as it more accurately reflects what we do at Honey Creek and indicates the inherent ties to our curriculum. This is the only change though. We will still be using Curriculum Based Service Learning to meet our original purpose. The following is from  our website in case you are unfamiliar with this concept: Service Learning is a method by which young people learn and develop  through active participation in a thoughtfully organized service experience. Such service experiences meet actual community needs, are coordinated in collaboration with the school and community, are integrated into each young person’s academic curriculum, help foster the development of sense of caring for others and enhance what is taught in the school by extending student learning beyond the classroom. Though this statement reflects the purpose of Curriculum Based Service Learning, we do encourage all forms of service as  well. Both curriculum based and regular service hours are collected throughout the school year by filling out service logs (available near the after care office). These should be turned in to your child’s base teacher monthly. Students who participate in 50 or more  hours of service learning are then eligible for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Regardless of whether or not this is  motivational for your child, we like to track our community service hours so please turn in those logs!
Maybe you noticed the barrels located at the front of the school and by the cafeteria door on Friday. We have started our annual Food Gatherers food drive! If you are unfamiliar with this organization, please take a few moments to view their website: www.foodgatherers.org. We will be collecting food (see list below for most needed items) from now until November 26 and ask for you to help however you can. For those looking to make this a richer service experience for your children think about these three options: 1. Have your child take responsibility for cleaning and organizing the pantry. Food Gatherers accepts canned food up to six months past their “use by” date. This is a great opportunity to get rid of some under used items in your home in a way that makes a significant difference for others. Depending on their age, students can also make shopping lists for items to make meals that go with items you already have. It’s a great opportunity to talk about utilizing what we have, rather than getting new products while others go to waste.  2. Allow your children the opportunity to earn food credits by doing extra chores or tasks in your home or the neighborhood. Then, take them to the store and allow them to pick out food to donate with these credits.
3. Take your child to Food Gatherers to volunteer and learn more about what happens behind the scenes. It is important to note that  they currently do not accommodate walk in volunteers–you must fill out a volunteer form and select a time before you wish to  volunteer. Regardless of how you help, don’t forget to log your service hours. Time spent going through cupboards or shopping all counts toward this time. We look forward to another successful year!
Be in touch with any questions you may have:
Thank you for all you do!


Food Gatherers appreciates all types
of non-perishable food donations,
however we have the most requests
from our partner agencies for the
following items:
Food Items:
Tuna Fish or other canned fish or
Beef Stew, Meat Soups, and Hearty
Canned Spaghetti or Pasta
Beans (kidney, pinto, green, yellow,
refried or black beans)
Baby Food or Formula
Ensure or other nutritional
supplement drinks
Dry Beans
Noodles, Macaroni
Powdered Milk
Pancake or Baking Mixes
Granola Bars
Peanut Butter
Jelly (in plastic jars)
We also collect (unopened) Personal
Care Items:
Disposable Razors
**Food Gatherers does not accept
opened containers and asks that you
avoid items in glass as they
sometimes break in transit.
Thank You!
Food Gatherers 734-761-2796

Academic Service-Learning: June 2012

Wow.  I’m constantly amazed as I walk through our school and see all the service in action.  Walking through a huddle of parents discussing summer gardening, seeing middle schoolers stop to teach 4/5s how to handle conflict, witnessing an organized group make some terrific ideas a reality….all these things help make Honey Creek so special.  Many opportunities will continue throughout the summer, both to help at Honey Creek and in the community at large.  Please continue to share these moments with your children and jot down these experiences on an AS-L log (located outside the aftercare office).  Soon we will have a total of all hours recorded from June 2011 until now.  I anticipate this number being even higher than last year and know that it is only a fraction of the service that is being done.  As always, I would like to gather stories of some of the work you’re doing.  New families to Honey Creek often ask me for ideas and I’m happy to share what I know.  However, your experiences are so much more diverse and inspiring that I would like to compile some of these stories into a service journal for families to look through.  Please e-mail me at jthompson@hc.wash.k12.mi.us with any tidbit you’re willing to share.  Thank you and have a terrific summer!

Academic Service-Learning: May 2012

There have been some exciting things happening lately!  With Earth Day came many opportunities for our students to engage in AS-L activities.  I have heard stories of students working in neighborhood parks and with Habitat for Humanity and I have seen many parents and children taking on some hard work on school grounds.  Beyond that, we are very fortunate to have a hard-working committee who not only scheduled an amazing Earth Day program, but stuck with it to reschedule it after school was cancelled!

Most of you also know the huge success that was Joe’s Bartering Bonanza.  Our middle school students were engaged in valuable lessons and provided an opportunity for the whole school to take part in their work.  Congratulations to Joe and the whole middle school for the great work that has been noticed far beyond our Honey Creek Community!

Please continue to share stories of the different projects your families are involved in outside of school!  Don’t forget to take an AS-L log and keep track as well over the summer.

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