YES (Youth Engaged in Service)

Service-learning is a recognized effective pedagogy for cultivating responsible citizens capable of democratic participation. This project uses a $9,800 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education to move 200 fifth- and sixth-grade students who are involved in the school’s service-learning program beyond theory to practice in the real world. Hillside Intermediate School educators Katrina Macht, Anthony Sgro, Andrea Attanasio, Rita Richetti, Kiran Masud, Linda Gomes, Amy Spagnoli, Sarah Wolf, Gayle Faulkner, and Taryn Lupinacci of the Bridgewater-Raritan School District in Somerset County, coordinate the project.

To begin, students create service proposals to present to an audience for feedback. The proposals incorporate the use of technology, media, and visual arts. Once approved, students carry out their action plans, such as creating books for and reading to younger children; utilizing technology to create educational and advertising media for the purpose of raising community awareness about local issues; painting a mural at a local shelter; conducting food drives; and volunteering for local agencies.

This grant emphasizes the use of technology for participants to collaborate with adults and students in other locales. Although they live in different communities, the partners utilize e-mail and web-chats to collaborate on such global issues as hunger and homelessness and design public awareness actions addressing the consequences of the issues.

For further information, contact:

Katrina Macht
School - (908) 231-1905