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FL&S Best Practices, Success Stories and Resources from School Projects

GOING DEEP FOR SERVICE-LEARNING: High School Students at Coral Shores HS in Monroe County Learn and Serve by Diving
Program recently featured in Dive Training Magazine

Dive Training is an international divers’ magazine (www.dtmag.com/) sent to most dive shops. The attached article (forwarded with permission) highlights the marine science-based service-learning activities at Coral Shores High School in Tavernier. This program is led by Dave Makepeace, the winner of the Steven Tunick Service-Learning Award at the 2008 Florida Service-Learning Institute.

Click here for the full article.

FROM THE SERVE.GOV SITE: Florida Middle School Students Learn and Serve
By an 8th Grader at Andrew Jackson MS

click here to see the Serve.gov page

I am going into the 8th grade at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Titusville, FL. This summer I am a part of a week-long camp improving Jackson's Learn and Serve team. Learn and Serve is a club at my school and we do service projects that benefit both the recipient and the giver. We help the community and learn at the same time.

Teachers at our school come to us if they want to receive money from the government to fund service projects they would like to do with their classes. So for example if a class was studying pollution they could do a service project at the beach picking up trash. This way the beach is cleaner and the students get more hands-on activity with pollution.

This week at our "camp" we have been learning a little more about what our Learn and Serve group of Jackson has to do. For example, during this school year teachers will submit their projects to the committee (us). We will then decide if we should give the teachers the desired amount of money for their class. Unfortunately we cannot give everyone the money they ask for but we can help them improve their proposals to improve their chances.

This week we have also created something called summer bags. These are bags filled with activities for disadvantaged preschoolers, whose parents can't afford many activities this summer. In the summer bags there is a project for each week for the rest of the summer. These are learning activities and we hope these preschoolers will progress with their studies in kindergarten and beyond, all because of our bags. This helps them and us because we helped them develop basic skills. Also in our camp that lasted from 8 till 3 every day we made learning lockers and we helped preserve two historic houses in our town.

Thanks for your time and support. All of us here at Andrew Jackson Middle School wish you well, and are very excited about helping the community.

If you're a teacher or a student, see the FL Learn and Serve website to see how you can get your school involved.

"The Bay-to-Bay Benefit" (i.e.., Bay County to Montego Bay to benefit the disabled.)

Several months ago, the Chautauqua Learn and Serve School (a Charter School in Panama City, FL) educated the Panama City Rotary Club, about their mission to help the West Haven Children’s Home in Jamaica. (FYI: Chautauqua’s mission is to “educate the LOCAL disabled students for the demands of the world they are about to enter. And, to educate and enlighten the world about the needs of the disabled who are seeking to enter this world with as much independence as possible.”)

Cynthia McCauley, the principal, told us that part of her methodology is teaching these children through SERVICE LEARNING where these local disabled students actually serve others. As a result, they become more self-assured themselves and respond more positively to life’s challenges.

With this methodology in mind, Mrs. McCauley found a “sister” school to Chautauqua in Jamaica called The West Haven Children’s Home, and some of her students and teachers went down to assess the situation. What they found was an orphanage, heroically trying to take care of about 80 children (age 6 to 30 years old) … 70 of whom are in diapers, and who are severely mentally and physically challenged. In Jamaica, these children are normally just turned out on the beach to live … or die … alone.

Since April, Pat Sabiston, Rotary Project Chair, has been in conversations with the Montego Bay Rotary Club, and they are very interested in “twinning” with us on this project. As a matter of fact, we believe that this is going to be a project that can set an example of other schools, like Chautauqua … as well as for other Rotary Clubs, like ours … to follow.

Ms. McCauley pointed out that there are Millennium Development Goals that have asked for Global Partnerships for Development, just like this, in order to Eradicate Extreme Poverty for People with Disabilities.

Here is the assessment in the words of Mr. Keith Azzan, Ms. Sabiston’s Montego Bay contact:

WATER: “The children are housed in four cottages each with a small water tank. However, the reality is they are experiencing serious water problems. With insufficient funds to purchase water, the Director says they are out of water for as long as a week or more.”
DORM: “The children are housed in four cottages and the dorm would be extremely helpful. There is a great need for new beds, wheelchairs, and folding chairs for the entire population since many of the children have cerebral palsy and are spastic. The recommended spacing distance could be provided by the dorm, because now they just push beds together to prevent the children from falling out.”
DIAPERS: “Seventy of the 80 children need diapers. Their diapers are changed twice per day because of the insufficient funds. In many cases, their diapers should be changed at least four times per day.”

In addition, Chautauqua is also working on raising funds as well as providing manpower for some of the labor on the dorm and water system. In addition, there may be VISTA volunteers to help with some of the specific medical needs, and a physician from the PC Rotary Club has offered his services, but this is ALL “a work in progress.” Also, Brian Baber of our club and Arthur Rutenberg Homes, stands ready to rally Club and church members to go down to help with construction and other site needs.

More importantly, we want to ensure environmental sustainability for the orphanage, so we are looking at the potential of them having a small business, or at least the ability for them to get to the point where they can raise chickens; have a garden; institute fish farming – something that will help to work them towards independence and inclusion of the disabled into the world in which they live.

Note: Our Grant Application would get this on-going, long-term project started by funding the water system and providing the much-needed diapers.


Challenger Middle School - Sheryl Terepka, NBCT, Science Teacher (Lee County, North Fort Myers) 239-995-2258

Project Description (0708): K-5 students participate in 5 initiatives: (1) Environmental Education, where students create and share a PowerPoint presentation to raise awareness for water conservation; (2) Restoration of Powell Creek Preserve, students plant pine seedlings, remove exotics, and map gopher tortoise burrows; (3) Family Science Night, students help to increase parental involvement through the study of science and math; (4) Parkinson Disease program, where students participate in an advocacy campaign for patients and their families; and the (5) Hunger initiative, where students connect with local food banks, learning hydroponics, and implement and “Empty Bowl Project.” Projected service hours: 32,400


Service-Learning & Environmental Education

Service-Learning and NBCTs

General Grant-Writing 101 for S-L practitioners: seeking funds and writing winning proposals with your students

Career Exploration PowerPoint


Stop the Hurt!

Student-developed PPT on preventing Child-Abuse.

Click-here to download the presentation.

Edited by: Austin Hammett and Morgan Murphy, 8th Grade Future Business Leaders of America
School: Union Academy Magnet Middle School, Bartow, FL
Teacher-coordinator: Antionette Wilcox, EdD., NBCT, Adviser

Supporting Community Organizations
- Heartland for children
- Prevent child abuse for Florida
- Florida Department of children and families


Polk-County S-L Brochure


Corporation for National & Community Service

This site is sponsored by: The Corporation for National & Community Service, Florida State University's Center for Civic Education and Service, and the Florida Department of Education.

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