In Somerset County, Hillside Intermediate School educators, led by Katrina Macht, were awarded a $10,000 continuation grant to bring additional teachers and students into their original service learning project. The Bridgewater-Raritan School District team of educators includes Kiran Masud, John Hingelberg, Taryn Prince, Sarah Wolf, Michele Bruenjes, Christine Lewis, Linda Gomes, David Zas, Anthony Sgro, Andrea Attanasio, Sean Smith and Inessa Vinokurov.

As in the first year, participating teachers will guide students through research-based investigations that incorporate issues-based themes related to environmental and social justice. Partner classes will meet via video chat at least monthly to explore and select issues that resonate with each of their own communities. While students will ultimately select their own issues to address, they will follow the same “Learn-Think-Act-Reflect” service-learning structure. Students will create and post digital artifact packages on the social learning site to educate their partners about themselves and their communities.

The arts-based aspects of the original program will be expanded to further emphasize the arts as vehicles for expression about issues of social concern. A select group of students will audition and work with a resident teaching artist to explore the use of performance as a vehicle for advocacy and develop dramatic presentations for issues being researched.

Formative and summative evaluation methods will be used to measure student progress for each of the project goals.

The teachers on the grant team will meet frequently to plan, coordinate, and assess the project, as well as share skills and expertise. The team is committed to continuation of the program into the future.

For more information, contact:

Katrina Macht
(908) 231-1905 (Hillside Intermediate School)
(973) 568-4938 (Home)

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