First and second graders at Corlears have been learning about Needs and Wants in social studies this year, and to cap off the unit, they ran a community service project to collect necessities for children and families in need.
“Through the social studies unit, our students discovered that some people are not able to meet their needs and wants due to lack of resources or accessibility to those resources,” Shanna Scott, a Corlears 6/7s teacher, explains.
Over the course of one week in February, the 6/7s students, in partnership with the Corlears Parents Association, collected baby food, formula children’s winter clothing, hygiene products, diapers, and baby wipes to give to a nonprofit called NYC Mammas Give Back. Students also designed their own posters and decorated collection boxes, which were placed in front of the school during drop-off and pick-up, to help promote the drive.
Overall, the Corlears community came together to fill 7 large boxes with necessities, plus 6 extra bags of items. The Parents Association estimates fellow families gave about 750 diapers and at least 350 articles of clothing and accessories.
At Corlears, students at every age level end their units of study with a project or “culmination.” While the finished products are always amazing, it is the process of preparing for culmination that really leaves a lasting impression. During this time, students continue to collaborate as learners and as peers, learning to navigate how to work with one another to see their visions through for their big day. With all of the work that goes into creating each component of a culmination, students are able to reflect on the educational journey that has led them to this point. Now experts in their given topic areas, they are able to look back on all of the learning they have experienced since the beginning of the year and take pride in their growth – and share it with the larger Corlears community.
Corlears believes it is critical to teach our students about the importance of community, and to get them involved in hands-on projects that bring learning to life. The founders of Corlears sought to create a school where the curriculum would stimulate creativity, be grounded in concrete experiences, and extend beyond the classroom. That vision lives on today in our vibrant school, where students grow into curious and compassionate members of their communities.