Rebel Love

Teacher(s): Kathryn Curry, Lisa Britten
Main Contact: Lisa Britten Email:
Date: April 2013      Building: Godfrey-Lee High School      Grades: 9-12
Semester: Extended Learning

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Students will be impacting a need in the Wyoming and greater Grand Rapids community by visiting nursing homes and providing companionship to the senior residents. Students will also prepare care packages for nursing home residents that will contribute to fulfilling personal and entertainment needs for the seniors.


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?

The students on our team met as a group and brainstormed potential needs in our community. During our discussion, they were able to define and describe what service learning is and what it does (and doesn’t) look like, which helped them to eliminate some of their original ideas. They decided that the most meaningful and relevant experience for them would be one where they could interact on a personal level with other people who were in need. They chose senior citizens as their target group because they realized that many seniors feel disconnected from the larger community due to loss of mobility or other health issues, and perhaps don’t have a strong relationship with youth (other than perhaps their grandchildren).

What service will you provide to address the need?

Students will be visiting nursing homes and providing companionship to the senior residents.

Students will also prepare care packages for nursing home residents that will contribute to fulfilling personal and entertainment needs for the seniors.


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 a specific curriculum?

English Language Arts: Students have used communications and debate skills to decide on the project topic and have worked in small groups to write and prepare proposals related to the project. They will further practice communications skills when interacting with residents of the nursing homes.

Health/Wellness/Science/Psychology: Students will gain awareness of the experiences and limitations that some senior citizens face as they age. They will learn how to communicate best with older adults (

This may inspire them to take an interest in their own health and healthy behaviors as young adults, or may inspire them to research possible careers in the health field, perhaps related to nursing or meeting the healthcare needs of the aged.

Mathematics: Students used mathematics skills to make sure that the items they chose for the care packages fit inside the group’s budget.

State Standards and Benchmarks  List standards and benchmarks met by this project.


Basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills are covered.


Students developed the ideas and presented those ideas to teacher-leaders as well as to the whole group. They wrote paragraphs to include in the original project proposal.


Students are learning to work within the confines of a budget. During the week of Rebel Heart, they may encounter situations with older adults that will require the use of both problem-solving and communications skills.


Students have had to develop ideas and expand upon them during the course of preparation.


Each student is responsible for a piece of the project and must organize accordingly.


Because there were many ideas available, students had to negotiate as a team in order to make the final choice for this project. Students will also have to work as a team to prepare the care packages for the residents they will visit.


The behaviors learned throughout this process will help them in future career situations, for example, creating proposals or working as co-workers with members of older generations.


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 students use to show what they have learned and accomplished?

Students will provide a written and verbal reflection after this project is complete.


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.)

Our team’s project contributes to cross-generational relationship-building and understanding.


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 this project?

The students have complete ownership of this project while. Teachers and student leaders are present to coach the group, keep them on track, and help them think through situations where they are “stuck.”



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

Who will you partner with for this project?

We are partnering with nursing homes in the Grand Rapids community.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

The nursing homes will benefit because the members of our student team will be providing companionship to the senior residents, which adds to their overall quality of life. Students will also prepare care packages for nursing home residents that will contribute to fulfilling personal and entertainment needs for the seniors.



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?

Teacher and student-leaders will provide ongoing assessments and feedback during the project. As well, students will self-assess at the conclusion of the project.



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

How will you prepare students for this experience?

Students have been preparing for this project throughout this year by having large group meetings as well as small group interactions. Students will also be trained in advance about what to expect during a nursing home experience and how to communicate effectively with older adults (

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

Students have prepared proposals and researched supplies needed for this project.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

Social Progress: Our project focuses around social progress in terms of fostering inter-generational understanding and a sense of compassion for the lonely and in need.