• "Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it’s something you do.”  - Abbie Hoffman


    As part of our study of American Government the students will be engaged in the idea of Civic Participation. As a social activist said some 40 years ago “Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it’s something you do.  You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.” 

    In order to encourage young citizens to take an active role in civic life, a requirement of the class is for the student to participate in that civic life. To do that students are required to engage in community service for the Middle Years program. Students must complete ONE community service project as part of their 9th Grade Middle Years’ experience. The community and service requirement has been a part of the IBMYP program for years, but for too long it felt as it was something the students simply did without really knowing why they were doing the service.

    The theme for the year is Community and Service: Planning and Doing. We are encouraging students to be thoughtful in how they plan and complete their community service project. It may be something that you do with your parents, with a friend, on your own, outside of school or as a member of one of the many clubs at Palmer High School. You will have to plan your project, decide why this is important to you, you must act to complete the project AND you must be able to give a short (2-3 minute) presentation that describes why and how you chose and completed your project.

    Community project: Service learning

    In the community project, action involves a participation in service learning (service as action).

    As students evolve through the service learning process, they may engage in one or more types of action.

    Direct service: Students have interaction that involves people, the environment or animals. Examples include one-on-one tutoring, developing a garden alongside refugees, or teaching dogs behaviors to prepare them for adoption.

    Indirect service: Though students do not see the recipients during indirect service, they have verified that their actions will benefit the community or environment. Examples include redesigning an organization’s website, writing original picture books to teach a language, or raising fish to restore a stream.

    Advocacy: Students speak on behalf of a cause or a concern to promote action on an issue of public interest. Examples include initiating an awareness campaign on hunger in the community, performing a play on replacing bullying with respect, or creating a video on sustainable water solutions

    Students can choose to work on the community project independently or in groups of up to three students. In cases where students work together, they work collaboratively to address the objectives of the project, develop their service learning together, and give their presentation at the end as a group.

    The objective of investigating requires students to make choices in the focus of their project. Students should follow a series of procedures to identify the focus. They will need to:

    • define a goal to address a need in the community, based on their personal interests
    • identify the global context for the community project
    • develop a proposal for action for the community project.

    In situations where students choose to work in groups, the goal is defined collaboratively.

    Defining a goal to address a need in the community

    Some examples of goals are:

    • to raise awareness        
    • to research  
    • to create/innovate                                  
    • to advocate
    • to participate actively
    • to inform others
    • to change behaviors

    A need can be defined as a condition or situation in which something is required or wanted; a duty or obligation; or a lack of something requisite, desirable or useful.

    The community may be local, national, virtual or global. There are a wide range of definitions of community. 

    Students must address one of the global contexts as part of their service:

    • Identities and relationships
    • Orientation in time and space
    • Personal and cultural expressions
    • Scientific and technical innovation
    • Globalization and sustainability
    • Fairness and development

    Finally - the student (or group of students) will reflect on their community/service project in a presentation to others.

    • Prepare a 3-5 minutes presentation for a mixed audience (peers, parents, teachers, community members).
    • Include evidence from your process journal to show how you completed this project over time (you MUST have 6 entries in your process journal).
    • Include visual aids to help your project come to life (take pictures and/or video if appropriate – please check with the organization you work with to insure that you are adhering to their rules and regulations).
    • Use multimedia “technology” to help you tell your story in a compelling way (create a movie, PowerPoint, Prezi, slide show, music video, your own TED Talk
    • The presentations will take place at school January 16 or 17 2020.