At BSNBCS we believe education does not begin and end in the classroom. Through our commitment to Service-Learning, students develop an experiential education by engaging in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities that are designed to promote student learning and development. Our program integrates meaningful community service with our robust curriculum. Beginning in the classroom, students collaborate to identify community needs, apply their skills and studies to research solutions and plan activities, implement their ideas, and evaluate and reflect on the experiences and impact. Through our partnerships with community organizations and local gardens, BSNBCS seeks to offer our scholars many opportunities to get involved in their neighborhood, their city, and the global community.
In Science, students are learning about the needs of living things. In Social Studies, they are discovering the roles that community members and volunteers play in caring for their neighborhood. The students have chosen to make food baskets for families in need in the community. They will visit a local food pantry, share their baskets and meet volunteers that support their community.
In Science, students are exploring the needs of animals and the importance of nutrition for people to grow healthy and strong. After learning about the types of unhealthy drinks and snacks that many children eat, the first graders chose to create an awareness campaign to promote healthy drinks and snacks throughout the school. They will be celebrating Food Day on October 24th through their participation in the Big Apple Crunch. Students have created posters to encourage students to bring an apple to eat on October 24th to raise awareness for children and adults to make healthier snack choices. They will also be making a public service announcement about healthy food choices to be seen by our scholars and available on our website.
In Science, students are experimenting with the needs of plants, testing different substances to determine what supports the healthiest plant growth. They have been growing and caring for radishes, which they have chosen to share with the community. They will be partnering with Ena McPherson from Tranquility Farm in Brooklyn to build a planter box in front of our school that will have their radishes, flower bulbs and other plants that will beautify the space. Students will care for the planter box throughout the year, especially in the spring when the flower bulbs bloom.
Students have been learning about alternative ways to grow healthy produce in their community. They have been studying different types of urban gardens around the world and comparing them to the resources they have available in their community. Students are independently researching urban farms and writing a report on one farm that interests them. They will be making a promotional sign for Tranquility Farm, a nearby green space, to promote it to the community. Also, they will be responsible for labeling all of the equipment and structures in our school’s urban farm.
In Science, students have been learning about renewable and nonrenewable resources, and the ways that people dispose of waste. They have chosen to start a composting program in our school. They have been documenting the amount of trash that our school throws away daily, learning about which things can be composted, and creating a plan to make composting a regular practice in our school, especially in the lunch room. Students will choose a local garden to which they will donate the compost and partner with that garden to have a produce exchange.
In Science, students have been learning about conservation. Additionally, in Social Studies they have discovered the methods Native American used to utilize their resources, wasting as little as possible. For their project, the students have chose to start a recycling campaign in our school. They are taking inventory of our recycling bins, observing what is thrown away throughout the day in classrooms and at lunch, and devising a plan to get all students and staff involved in a recycling effort. The will be petitioning the city to request recycling pickup and creating a persuasive promotional program aimed at finding ways to encourage everyone in the school to take part. Throughout the project, they will be documenting and assessing the impact of the program so that it can continuously be improved and reach a level of sustainability.
Students have chosen to create a cookbook that informs people about thoughtful eating choices, providing healthy alternatives old family recipes. In ELA, students will write food descriptions and recipe steps. In Social Studies, students will profile early civilizations, highlighting how people such as the Sumerians used their resources to create a system of agriculture. In math, students will be calculating the proper proportions in food recipes, measuring and enumerating ingredients in their meal. In Science, students will be analyzing the chemical composition of food, and how different ingredients are processed by the body. All of this information will be compiled in the cookbook that student will sell to raise funds for a charity of their choice