Yard and Park Clean-up

Teachers: Brian Cahoon, Gabriel Snyder
Main Contact: Brian Cahoon
Date: 4/2013      Building: Godfrey-Lee High School       Grades: 9-12
Semester: Extended Learning

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Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Students will be participating in a program that gives back to the Godfrey-Lee community by participating in a yard and park clean-up project. Residents will have their yards cleaned up, thatched, and groomed, while parks will be cleared of debris.



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

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

The need is to help community members in their post-winter/spring clean-up of their yards. Our focus is on raking out thatch/leaves, pruning, trimming, sweeping walkways, etc. This need was determined by soliciting information through KSSN on deserving individuals from our community’s senior citizen population, and others who have been identified in greatest need for this type of service. Students and staff members in the district have also given suggested individuals to consider and add to our job lists.

What services will we provide to address the need?

Yard clean up. Our intent is to help thatch rake lawns to remove dead grass/leaves/rocks/sticks, etc. We will also do pruning of bushes and trimming around fences, etc. Waste will be swept up and removed prior to leaving.



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?

ELA: Students have written proposals, as well as discussed project options and ideas as a group.

SS: Students have had to identify cost/benefit of a potential project, focusing on doing the most good with a set budget.

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

1. Applied Academic Skills (basic reading, writing, kinesthetic and math skills)

2. Developing and Presenting Information (students developed ideas and presented those ideas to teachers and group leaders)

3. Problem Solving (Brainstorming problems, needs, budget constraints and managing time during the project)

4. Personal Management (Students have had to develop ideas and flesh them out during the planning and presentation time)

5. Organizational Skills (Each individual is responsible for performing a specific task as a member of a group)

6. Teamwork and Negotiation Skills (Many initial concepts for our work were presented early on, and students had to lobby for and negotiate amongst themselves in order to arrive at our final decision for a project and plan)

7. Using Employability Skills (The behaviors learned throughout this process will help them in future career situations)

ELA Standard 1,2,3 Meaning and Communication

Social Studies III.3 Democracy in Action

Social Studies Strand IV Economic Perspective

Social Studies Standard V2 Conducting Investigations

Social Studies C6.2.7 Participate in a service-learning project, reflect on, and evaluate the experience


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?

In today’s world, it is easy for youth to look for instant solutions to complex problems. Reflection in service learning provides students and teachers with a way to look back at their experiences, evaluate them, and apply what is learned to future experiences.

Students build skills for analyzing and solving problems and developing creative solutions.

Without reflection, student’s just report on experiences instead of examining how what they do impacts themselves and those they serve. Reflective activities that are designed well and implemented thoughtfully allow students to acquire a deeper understanding of the world around them and of how they can make positive contributions to society.


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.)

Diversity and cultural awareness is an important concept for students to understand. Students engaged in service-learning programs can learn to work with a variety of other students, in addition to serving a diverse community. Following are some of our most relevant resources for this topic. We are working within a community needs to support each other. Like Lee High School our students will serve each other so that we, as a community, can move-on-up together.


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?

Students have complete ownership of this project while. Teachers are there to guide as are two student-leaders. Brian and I have only helped with phone calls and clerical information.



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

Who will you partner with for this project?

We are partnering with GLPS neighborhood residents and businesses to beautify our community.

How will that partner benefit from this collaboration?

These residents will benefit by having their residences beautified by Lee 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?

Teacher and student-leaders will provide ongoing assessments and feedback during the project. As well, students will self-assessment. The goal is to have students realize the benefit they receive when helping others. The objective of our project is to not only help others but to understand that the intrinsic reward one receives through being a working role in the GLPS community.



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.

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

Students will be gathering materials and mapping out the coordinates in order to most efficiently address all neighborhood needs during the week of Rebel Heart.

Students have prepared proposals, contacted residents and made calls about 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.

Students have decided that their goals are to clean up the local environment, to help their neighbors and their hope is that future students will continue on providing beautification to the neighborhood in which they attend school and live. Their efforts will help clean up trash and litter within this community, which promotes a healthy environment. Their efforts on lawn care will create a clean and well groomed community. Their efforts will also create a sense of pride about who they are within the GLPS community.