In Warren County, Phillipsburg Elementary School fifth graders will have the opportunity to take leadership roles in their community thanks to a $10,000 Hipp grant awarded to educators Bridget Carvajal, Sean Devlin, Kristen Dzienis-Garcia and Rosemary Rinker. Students will seek out teacher recommendations to apply for a leadership role in the project. Carvajal and her project team will review the applications with school administrators to identify forty student leaders for the school year.
To begin, student leaders will select a goal and/or theme on which to focus their leadership. Those goals include digital citizenship, community health/wellness, and service learning. The digital citizenship goal aims to bridge the communication gap between home and school, with particular emphasis on the non-English speaking families. Student-led teams will host community nights to teach families to use digital tools while bridging the language barrier. The community health/wellness goal will help families make positive lifestyle changes in fitness and health. The service learning projects will expand previously established building projects, including volunteerism at the local senior center, local youth center, soup kitchen, veterans’ organizations, and early childhood learning center. Community partners will provide additional resources and opportunities for families in each of these areas.
The student leaders will coordinate teams of students across all grade levels, encompassing approximately 200 students. During monthly meetings, student leaders will work with teacher leader/mentors to evaluate existing projects and student teams and survey data to develop future project goals. Web pages will also be updated at those meetings to showcase progress.
Student leaders will make project presentations to town council and school board meetings throughout the year, and train peers on their teams as future leaders. Alternate funding sources will be sought through partnerships with multiple community agencies.
For more information, contact:
(908) 454-3400 (Phillipsburg E.S.)
(610) 217-3183 (Home)