Veteran’s Home

District: Northview Public Schools Building: Crossroads Middle School
Teacher(s): Sara Gregory, Emily Liley, Kevin Bustrum, Colleen Heyboer and Kathy Vogel
Main Contact: Kathy Vogel Email:
rade Level: 7th and 8th Subject(s): Reading, Language Arts, Exploratory
First Trimester:          Second Trimester:           Third Trimester:
First Semester:           Second Semester:           All Year:   x

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

This service project includes bringing in veterans to speak in class, making Holiday shoeboxes filled with necessities, interviewing veterans to capture their lives, and participating in a day of service at the Veteran’s facility. This day of service will include eating lunch with the veterans, planting a garden, and crafting. In addition, students will organize a walk-a-thon to raise money to donate to the veterans’ home. Community Partner: The League is helping one seventh grade team partner with the Veteran’s home.


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?

One of our students recently visited the veterans’ home and shared his initial thoughts about the visit. This prompted students to ask questions about what it would be like to live at the home.

What service will you provide to address the need?

Our seventh grade team will focus on the veterans’ home throughout the school year. Our service project contains several smaller things. After hearing about our student’s experience, we thought it would be nice to help out local veterans around the holidays. We held a drive to collect necessity items that many veterans need such as shampoo, toothpaste, etc. This was a success as our students and their families went above and beyond to provide shoeboxes full of items. Students will travel to the Grand Rapids Veterans Home in the spring to do a walk-a-thon to raise money for the home. On this day, several other activities are planned.


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?

One of the main emphases of all our service projects is reading and understanding informational text. Learning about the sacrifices and challenges veterans face will be done through reading. Various strategies such as monitoring comprehension, determining importance, and questioning will be modeled and taught. In addition each project includes writing. Students will create and interview questions and write a narrative about veterans who choose to participate.

What are the educational goals?

The employability skills that will be addressed throughout this project include:
• Planning
• Fund raising
• Team work
• First impressions
• Listening
• Public speaking
• Reading for Information
• Respect


Curriculum Crafter Connections


Strand: 07ELA: Reading Informational Text
TLW: Demonstrate and integration of knowledge and ideas to understand the informational text selection. (Gist: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas – Informational Text)

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

Strand: 07ELA: Writing
TLW: Write informative or exploratory type text for different purposes. (Gist: Text Types and Purposes Informative or Explanatory Writing)

Strand: 07ELA: Writing
TLW: Demonstrate the production and distribution of writing.

Strand: 07TECH: Technology Communications Tools
• Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
• Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.


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?

Students will keep a learning journal throughout their service project. In the end, they will self assess themselves as well as write a reflection which will be part of their exit portfolio.


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)

This project is generational. Students will meet veterans of various ages.


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?

It was a student who first shared his insights about the veterans’ home. His passion and interest created a spark among our team. They brainstormed ways that they could support veterans who are living in our local veteran home.



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

Who will you partner with for this project?

We will partner with the League to assist in the planning and coordination of this project. The main partner however is the Veteran’s Home.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

Students will learn about our community veteran home. Hopefully some will continue supporting this organization after our service project is completed. They will also learn how others give of their time, talent and treasures. This will hopefully inspire the students.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

Veterans will benefit from the interaction with our young students. In addition, the home will benefit from having their grounds beautified and money raised to support veterans who need it.



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?

Students use checklists to help them plan and implement their projects. Students will complete a self reflection that will be part of their writing portfolio. In eighth grade, when students complete their exit portfolio review, they will have a chance to revisit their thinking related to the veteran project.

How will you assess your service goals?

Students will keep a learning log and write a reflection. We plan to develop a community survey to determine the effectiveness of our service learning.



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

How will you prepare students for this experience?

Students will write interview questions and practice interviewing. We will practice how to interact with elderly people.

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

• Drive to collect and then distribute health and beauty aides for Veterans.
• Students will have a hot dog lunch in the outside pavilion of the veterans’ home with veterans to get to know them on a more personal level.
• Students will publish a book that contains informational text about the home and as well as narrative writing about individuals.
• Students will plant flowers in the afternoon around the veterans’ home to beautify the grounds.
• Students will weed the hill area and make a flag out of rocks to beautify the area.
• Students will play bingo and various other games with veterans in the afternoon.