Monroe Elementary students go hands-on with service learning project
Monroe — Students in the combined second and third grade class at Monroe Elementary are teaming up with a local organization as part of a service learning project.
The project the students are participating in is in conjunction with Food For All, which is hosted at the Monroe Church. Noah Flesher, the combined second and third grade teacher, worked with Nancy Fenney from Food For All to coordinate the service project.
Food For All prepares a weekly lunch on Thursdays for those in the community in need of food or who want to socialize and enjoy a homemade lunch.
The program, which is non-denominational and not affiliated with the church, ties into a number of the social studies learning targets for Flesher's classes, and also serves as a way for establishing greater community relationships.
As an added bonus, the church is a one minute walk from Monroe Elementary.
Students were divided into three groups of seven and each group takes a turn on Thursdays to help set the tables, serve the food and clean up after the lunches. In addition, the students take their published narrative and “all about” stories and read them during the lunches to the diners.
One of the class member's grandmother, Linda Reed, has volunteered on a daily basis during literacy class, and she and her daughter, Jessica LaMorge, escort and help with the service groups while Flesher remains in the classroom to teach the rest of the class.
Patrons at the Food For All Lunch were “pleasantly surprised” with their young helpers, Flesher said.
“I went to a lot of people and read to them. We sang happy birthday to one of the cooks named Sharon. I really liked the great food there,” Anthony, a student in the second and third grade class, said.
Another student, Lily, was also happy to help out during the lunches.
“I felt good because we served salad to all the people that were there,” Lily said. “The people there were really nice and we got to read all of our stories. I read four stories to each person and they thought my stories were pretty good."
For more information about service learning go to edutopia.org/blog/service-learning-how-to and responsiveclassroom.org/sites/default/files/8907ch02.pdf.