Jackie Chan once said, “Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” It was with that attitude of giving back that Newbury’s 8th graders embarked on an educational journey in hopes of making a difference.
Beginning in February, Newbury’s 8th grade English classes were assigned a Research-in-Action project where the students identified a real-life problem and researched potential solutions. Our goal for this project was two-fold: for the students to see how research can be applied to life and to create opportunities to give back to local communities. These students not only met our expectations but, in most cases, exceeded them. It was amazing to see our students excitedly take ownership of this opportunity.
Each week, these student-led research teams were given time in class to meet and analyze local problems and solutions. This is where we began to see the beautiful hearts of our students begin to shine. One group decided to create a website (see https://treet0p.wixsite.com/home) to raise awareness of bullying in schools. Their hope was to encourage those being bullied that they are not alone and encourage people to respect each other. Another group partnered with an online organization and wrote letters of encouragement to children who spend months at a time in hospitals fighting life-threatening diseases. A different group identified hunger as a need and decided to partner with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, volunteering to assemble lunches for youth centers and local food shelters. One other group set aside time on two different Saturdays to volunteer at the Ashtabula Animal Protection League to spend time with and make treats for the animals in need of a home. These are just some of the amazing, real-life differences our students are making here at Newbury.
Our continued hope is that our students realize their potential to make a difference in this world and do it! Education is not restricted to the classroom, for it is through experience that we understand our purpose in life and can change the world for the better. Our students here at Newbury have begun their life-long journey of doing exactly that!
Contributed by: Kristen Csontos, English Teacher at Newbury Jr./Sr. High School
Pictured In Photo: Greater Cleveland Food Bank: From left to right: (front) Elsa Morton, Shana Justice, Kat Nichols, Alex Cichon, Kayden Grossman. (back) Dante Kitko, Landry Pengov.