Care Bags

Teacher(s): Janet Sall, Sabrina Beslagic, Lynn Eickhoff, Katie Dean, Kimberly Pitsch
Main Contact: Janet Sall Email:
Date: 11/10/2011 Building: Crossroads High School Grade Level: 9-12
First Trimester: __________           Second Trimester: ____ X ____          Third Trimester: __________
First Semester: ___________           Second Semester: __________

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Here at Crossroads High School, donating to charities is a year round tradition. However, around Christmas time we make a point to involve the entire Kentwood community in our annual Care Bag Project. With help from community partners our Leadership class continues each year to collect items for personal care bags due to the tremendous success in previous years. Our goal is to assemble 300 care bags to donate to Holland Rescue Mission, Mel Trotter Ministries, the Bridge, and Kentwood Public School’s homeless youth program. Personal care bags are individualized for men, women, teens, and children of various ages. Packages include items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. Another highlight of the care bags are the personalized uplifting and creative student artwork designed on each bag.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

• We feel Academic Service Learning fosters a sense of caring for others.
• Students are given the opportunity to use academic skills and knowledge in a real-life situation.
• The need for personal health care items was determined by contacting the homeless programs and inquiring about their needs.

What service will you provide to address the need?

• We will collect “in kind” and cash donations to secure the items necessary to fill 300 care packages.
• We will assemble 300 care packages specific to men, women, teens, and children.
• On December 14, 2011, we will deliver the needed care items to Mel Trotter Ministries, Holland Rescue Mission, The Bridge, and Kentwood Public School’s homeless youth program.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

There will be many learning goals that we will meet completing this project. We will be gaining an important civic and historic perspective. We will also be writing grants, a web site page, and constructing formal letters, emails, flyers, tax form documents, letters of appreciation, and 300 message cards that will improve our written communication for the standards of our language arts class. In addition, we will be making several telephone calls, personal visits, all of which will enhance our oral communication. Finally, students will be budgeting and will utilize cost comparison while purchasing needed care items.

What are the educational goals?

As a leadership team we will develop teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, and networking skills with our potential and established community partners. We will be expanding our problem solving skills by identifying our community needs and expanding the scope of our impact to the identified agencies. This project will better prepare us for the workforce, as we establish potential future contacts among the different community organizations. The Care Bag Project will also prepare us for college as our organizational skills are strengthened.


Curriculum Crafter Connections

Strand: 10ELA: (Writing, Speaking and Expressing)
TLW: Investigate and issue and deliver an informative speech, drawing conclusions about the issue. (Gist: Informative Speech)

Strand: 09ELA: (Writing, Speaking and Expressing)
TLW: Investigate a community issue, using multiple resources and design an authentic project to promote social action. (Gist: Community Issues and Social Action)

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.


STANDARD 1.1 Understand and practice writing as a recursive process.

CE 1.1.1 Demonstrate flexibility in using independent and collaborative strategies for planning, drafting, revising, and editing complex texts.

CE 1.1.2 Know and use a variety of prewriting strategies to generate, focus, and organize ideas (e.g., free writing, clustering/mapping, talking with others, brainstorming, outlining, developing graphic organizers, taking notes, summarizing, paraphrasing).

CE 1.1.3 Select and use language that is appropriate (e.g., formal, informal, literary, or technical) for the purpose, audience, and context of the text, speech, or visual representation (e.g., letter to editor, proposal, poem, or digital story).

CE 1.1 .5 Revise drafts to more fully and/or precisely convey meaning – drawing on response from others, self-reflection, and reading one’s own work with the eye of a reader; then refine the text-deleting and/or reorganizing ideas, and addressing potential readers’ questions

CE 1.1.7 Edit for style, tone, and word choice (specificity, variety, accuracy, appropriateness, conciseness) and for conventions of grammar, usage and mechanics that are appropriate for audience.

CE 1.1.8 Proofread to check spelling, layout, and font; and prepare selected pieces for a public audience.

STANDARD 1.2 Use writing, speaking, and visual expression for personal understanding and growth.

CE 1.2.2 Write, speak, and visually represent to develop self-awareness and insight (e.g., diary, journal writing, and portfolio self-assessment)

CE 1.2.3 Write, speak, and create artistic representations to express personal experience and perspective (e.g., personal narrative, poetry, imaginative writing, slam poetry, blogs, webpages).

STANDARD 1.3 Communicate in speech, writing, and multimedia using content, form, voice, and style appropriate to the audience and purpose (e.g., to reflect, persuade, inform, analyze, entertain, inspire).

CE 1.3.5 From the outset, identify and assess audience expectations and needs; consider the rhetorical effects of style, form, and content based on that assessment; and adapt communication strategies appropriately and effectively.

CE 1.3.6 Use speaking, writing, and visual presentations to appeal to audiences of different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds and experiences (e.g., include explanations and definitions according to the audience’ s background, age, or knowledge of the topic; adjust formality of style; consider interests of potential readers).

CE 1.3.7 Participate collaboratively and productively in groups (e.g., response groups, work teams, discussion groups, and committees)-fulfilling roles and responsibilities, posing relevant questions, giving and following instructions, acknowledging and building on ideas and contributions of others to answer questions or to solve problems, and offering dissent courteously.

CE 1.3.8 Evaluate own and others’ effectiveness in group discussions and formal presentations (e.g., considering accuracy, relevance, clarity, and delivery; types of arguments used; and relationships among purpose, audience, and content).

STANDARD 1.5 Produce a variety of written, spoken, multigenre, and multimedia works, making conscious choices about language, form, style, and/or visual representation for each work (e.g., poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction stories, academic and literary essays, proposals, memos, manifestos, business letters, advertisements, prepared speeches, group and dramatic performances, poetry slams, and digital stories).

CE 1.5.1 Use writing, speaking, and visual expression to develop powerful, creative and critical messages.

CE 1.5.2 Prepare spoken and multimedia presentations that effectively address audiences by careful use of voice, pacing, gestures, eye contact, visual aids, audio and video technology.

CE 1.5.3 Select format and tone based on the desired effect and audience, using effective written and spoken language, sound, and/or visual representations (e.g., focus, transitions, facts, detail, and evidence to support judgments, skillful use of rhetorical devices, and a coherent conclusion).

CE 1.5.4 Use technology tools (e.g, word processing, presentation, and multimedia software) to produce polished written and multimedia work (e.g., literary and expository works, proposals, business presentations, and advertisements).

CE 1.5.5 Respond to and use feedback to strengthen written and multimedia presentations (e.g., clarify and defend ideas, expand on a topic, use logical arguments, modify organization, evaluate effectiveness of images, set goals for future presentations).

STANDARD 2.1 Develop critical reading, listening, and viewing strategies.

CE 2.1.11 Demonstrate appropriate social skills of audience, group discussion, or work team behavior by listening attentively and with civility to the ideas of others, gaining the floor in respectful ways, posing appropriate questions, and tolerating ambiguity and lack of consensus.

CE 2.1.12 Use a variety of strategies to enhance listening comprehension (e.g., monitor message for clarity and understanding, ask relevant questions, provide verbal and nonverbal feedback, notice cues such as change of pace or emphasis that indicate a new point is about to be made; and take notes to organize essential information).

STANDARD 2.3 Develop as a reader, listener, and viewer for personal, social, and political purposes, through independent and collaborative reading.

CE 2.3.3 Critically read and interpret instructions for a variety of tasks (e.g., completing assignments, using software, and writing college and job applications).

STANDARD 4.1 Understand and use the English language effectively in a variety of contexts and settings.

CE 4.1.4 Control standard English structures in a variety of contexts (e.g., formal speaking, academic prose, business, and public writing) using language carefully and precisely.

CE 4.1.5 Demonstrate use of conventions of grammar, usage, and mechanics in written texts, including parts of speech, sentence structure and variety, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.



1.1 Nature of Civic Life, Politics, and Government
L 1.1 Identify roles citizens play in civic and private life, with emphasis on leadership.
6.2 Participating in Civic Life
6.2.7 Participate in a service-learning project, reflect upon experiences, and evaluate the value of the experience to the American ideal of participation.


Creating Equations A -CED

Create equations that describe numbers or relationships

3. Represent constraints by equations or inequalities, and by systems of equations and/or inequalities, and interpret solutions as viable or nonviable options in a modeling context. For example, represent inequalities describing nutritional and cost constraints on combinations of different foods.

Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities A -RE I

Understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning

1. Explain each step in solving a simple equation as following from the equality of numbers asserted at the previous step, starting from the assumption that the original equation has a solution. Construct a viable argument to justify a solution method.



Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

At the end of this project, our Leadership class will create a 1-2 page summary of what we learned from the Care Bag Project. This will be used to help sustain our effort, so that students in following Leadership classes will have a list of all of our contacts, and the methods in which we went about contacting potential partners and local community members. We will also create a portfolio containing all the documents that were create throughout the Care Bag Project. We will include in it a list of what went well, and ideas for what the students could do differently in future Care Bag Projects.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

We will engage a diverse group of volunteers by talking to our fellow students to help spread the word of our project. We will not miss any student who might be in foster care, have refugee status, or have special education or disability status. Because we are reaching out to the homeless community we anticipate the recipients of the care bags will come from a wide spectrum of cultural, generational, and abilities/disabilities.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

As current high school students, we are empowered to organize service learning projects that we feel passion for. We are involved and aware of the needs of our world community and are eager to make a positive difference. Youth voice is included in our process because this is a youth led and developed project with guidance and instruction from our teacher. Because we have voice, we are totally committed to the projects we select. Even as we started this project, we reflected on historical reason for the start of the Care Bag Project. We remember a former Crossroads student who found herself homeless and shared her story about a time she received a care bag – “It made me feel like a human being”.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

Community partners: Kentwood Public Schools’ staff, students, Board of Education, Citi Financial, Salon Centric, Meijer, Peters Family Dentistry, and Amazing Graces.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

We believe that these partners will help us greatly to identify our proposed activity because of the knowledge that they can offer us surrounding the problem of homelessness that our community faces. These partners will also help us to implement our proposed activities by providing donations of care items, or money to purchase the needed care items. The more community partners we have the more voices we will have to spread the word about the plight of the homeless.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

The community partners will be intrinsically rewarded for helping the less fortunate in their community. Our partners will be extrinsically rewarded by being recognized in our school news and acknowledged at our Kentwood Public School’s Board of Education meeting. Finally, the community partners will be supplied with a form to take a tax deduction for their charitable contribution and a personalized thank you card from the organizing students.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Student created letters, flyers, portfolios, Board presentation, and community contacts will all be assessed for quality. Student’s ability to demonstrate teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking will also be assessed.

How will you assess your service goals?

While we talk to community members, public officials, and other members of the media; we will keep track of our success. This will include keeping track of the number of items collected, and the number of care bags delivered to the homeless agencies. After we have delivered the care packages, our Leadership class will facilitate a discussion with our community partners surrounding what went well, and what did not go well in order to make changes for the 15th annual Care Bag Project. Lastly, we will hold a post-volunteer meeting with volunteers not in our Leadership class discussing their observations on our leadership and what elements of the project we can improve on for next year.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

Some of the Leadership students participated in the Care Bag Project last school year and will educate the new Leadership students about the Care Bag Project. Classroom discussions have focused on the history of homelessness and the importance of engaging students in assisting those persons in need within our community. The Leadership group met several times to formulate a plan of action and to gain an understanding of everything involved in carrying out the Personal Care project.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

• Planning how to publicize and carry out the collection of supplies.
• Planning a timeline for the project from start to finish.
• Writing community letter, grant, web page, and flyers.
• Students will be reporting the project to the Board of Education.
• Student will secure and decorate care bags.
• Acknowledging donors with thank you cards and tax forms.
• Budgeting and purchasing needed care items (cost comparison).
• Examine conditions that cause poverty and homelessness.