PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Using no more than eight (8) pages, double-spaced, 10-point Arial font, respond to the following 10 questions to describe the overall program, including project implementation and sustainability work.
Community Service-Learning (or service-learning) is a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Service-learning opportunities provide structured time for reflection, engaging both teachers and students in a thoughtful and thought-provoking process that consciously connects learning with experience.



Name of Grant Program: Community Service-Learning Planning and Implementation Fund Code: 354-B
Grants Program (Federal)


1. Executive Summary: Provide a 200-word summary of the proposed grant. Include highlights about how the proposed goals and objectives (described in #3) support the priorities and purposes of the grant (as described in the RFP), how the proposed activities (described in #8) further these goals and objectives, and how the proposed activities advance CSL practice in the district.
The NM Community Service Learning Initiative will build upon the successes of the New Orleans and New York Service Learning Programs in the high school and establish a committee to create an initiative to establish CSL throughout the district. To accomplish this task, the teacher who has led students to New Orleans and New York will offer a graduate course for teachers that includes the development of a CSL resource guide for the North Middlesex area, the creation of grade-appropriate curricula that are aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, and visits to local resources. The goal of the course will be for participants to incorporate engaging community service experiences into the curriculum, to establish CSL as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and content standards, and to provide opportunities for CSL to a broad range of students in the district. In addition, members of the committee and future CSL teachers will attend conferences including the ESE’s Fall Student Support Conference and the Peace Corps’ “Educating for a Flattened World” to develop partnerships across programs, learn effective CSL teaching techniques, and develop ideas for expanding authentic learning experiences to students.


2. Needs Statement: Describe the need(s) or challenge(s) in the district that CSL methodology can help to address. Include data to support your statements. (Do not describe here the needs to be addressed through specific CSL projects.)
The New Orleans Community Service Project is in its fourth year, and it presently has 33 students who have signed up for this year’s ten-day service and has a waiting list of forty additional students. In addition, a second shorter term project was initiated because of the positive response and the interest for the New Orleans CSL project by students, teachers, and parents. The waiting list and the development of a second CSL experience indicate a need for and an interest in more experiences throughout the district. There are no other CSL experiences in the district.
Students who have been involved with the CSL projects work locally throughout the year after school raising funds and supporting local food pantries, the Christmas Giving Tree Project, and UNICEF. In interviews with these students, they have described what they have gained from these experiences and state that more students would profit from similar experiences. They have realized that they have been “so sheltered here” in the three rural towns comprising the North Middlesex District, and that gaining an understanding about a “whole new world” including the “devastation of New Orleans” has changed their lives forever. They have learned to be more empathetic, accepting, and tolerant of others. They have also realized that the “little things” that they did for people made an impact and that all of those small actions add up. Students reflected that “People were so grateful for what they had done, and we came back to NM feeling like the luckiest people in the world.” These high school students said that they believed that these CSL experiences should be part of the NMRSD experience.
A challenge may be the need to define clearly. Often teachers and parents do not realize that CSL must have clearly articulated learning goals that are aligned and integrated into the curriculum. The experiences can result in authentic, personally relevant, engaging experiences for students, which can help students to understand the world in which they live as well as provide positive impact in the lives of others.


3. Goals and Objectives: Describe the goals and objectives for this grant, including the measurable outcomes you hope to attain. (Goals and objectives should address clearly the grant Purpose and Priorities found in the RFP.)
Goal
Objective
Measurable Outcomes
Establish a district initiative in CSL.
An increase in CSL projects in the district
Year I
Establish a broadly based district CSL committee
The committee will meet at least 3 times during the year and will be comprised of teachers, administrators, parents, and students.

Expand awareness of CSL projects through public presentations.
In addition to the annual presentation of the New Orleans CSL Project, the newly created projects will be presented in SY2010.

Expand awareness of CSL through attendance at conferences.
Attendance at conferences by teachers and members of the CSL committee.

Provide a graduate course to support teachers in developing CSL experiences. Teachers will assess the community’s needs, visit and study local resources of service in practice and develop and present to the class their own projects and curricula that will be implemented in SY2010.
Completion of the course by at least 20 teachers.
The development of twenty new CSL units that will be implemented in SY2010

Increase the number of CSL projects

Increase from 2 to 22 in one year

Increase the number of teachers involved in CSL
Increase from 1 to 21

Increase the number of students involved in CSL
Increase from 70 to at least 140.

Develop a resource manual for CSL for the district
Post a CSL resource manual on the NMRSD web site that includes CSL resources within the district, the local area and beyond the local area.





4. Community Partnerships: Describe how community partners will be engaged to work with students in: identifying jointly community needs; determining approaches to address those needs; and planning and implementing chosen efforts. What are the anticipated outcomes for the community as a result of CSL?
Unlike urban areas, the three towns have few local organizations with whom to develop partnerships. One of the first projects for the teachers involved in the graduate course will be to investigate the local area for ways in which CSL can be employed. Community members and potential partners will be invited to join the district committee including senior centers and local food pantries.

In addition, Heifer International offers a global education experience at its Learning Center at Overlook Farm, located in nearby Rutland, MA. In addition Ginny’s Helping Hand in Leominster, Our Father’s House in Fitchburg, Loaves and Fishes in Devens all offer local opportunities.

In addition, the ESE conference in the fall will offer the possibilities of partnering with other school districts.





5. Student/Participant Development and Engaging At-Risk Youth: Describe how CSL will be used as a strategy to engage students in their learning and in their communities. What are the anticipated outcomes for students as a result of participation in CSL activities? Describe specific plans to identify and engage at-risk youth in the activities associated with this grant, including, but not limited to service-learning activities (e.g., leadership opportunities on the CSL Leadership Team). Provide a summary of strategies and specific activities to be used to support the participation of at-risk students in the community.
Many students including at-risk students have already been involved in the New Orleans Project. Students presently play important roles at the high school and serve as coordinators for fundraising, for coordination of the trip and for local volunteer activities. The outcomes for these students have been expressed in the needs statement: they work locally throughout the year after school raising funds and supporting local food pantries, the Christmas Giving Tree Project, and UNICEF. They have said that they anticipate that other students would, like them, realize “how lucky they are” and that they have been “so sheltered” in the North Middlesex District. They see these experience as helping them to gain an understanding of the larger society, poverty, diversity can change students’ lives forever and, perhaps, feel, as they expressed that CSL will always be a part of their lives. In addition, they feel that others will learn through these experiences to be more empathetic, accepting, and tolerant of others. They have also realized that what they do “makes a difference” in the lives of others.
The teachers who become involved with the graduate course are teachers who teach heterogeneous classes; thus, a broad range of students will be exposed to CSL in 2010. One of the charges of the CSL District Committee will be to develop ways in which the present high school students who are engaged in CSL can work with students from the middle and elementary schools.
In addition, the Summer Bridge Academic Support program is considering ways in which their course or the school year integration of that course might incorporate CSL experiences.


6. Sustainability of CSL: Describe the district’s plans to form a CSL Leadership Team that will oversee grant activities and the development/implementation of a CSL Sustainability Action Plan.
Students who are presently involved at the high school have already volunteered to become part of the CSL District Initiative Committee whose charge will be to develop an action plan to sustain both the two established high school CSL Projects and to sustain those established in SY2010 after teachers have finished their graduate course.

7. Building on Previous Efforts to Implement/Sustain CSL: If applicable, summarize briefly the district’s previous experience with CSL and any policies/practices in place to support its implementation.
During the last four years, CSL has been established at the high school primarily through the work of one teacher. Each of the four trips to New Orleans has increased the number of students involved in the activities and in the waiting list for the project. Forty students are on this year’s waiting list. As a result, to make CSL available to underclassmen, the New York CSL Project has been established.
Each year the students have presented their experiences to the NMRSD School Committee through a PowerPoint presentation. The School Committee and parents have supported these activities consistently.

8. Activities/Timeline: Using the chart provided at the end of this document, provide a detailed timeline outlining the activities that will be implemented as a result of this grant. Activities should include the following:
a. those related to implementing CSL. For example, plans for engaging teachers/staff in project implementation, stipends to be given, plans for ensuring effective CSL implementation that include the following components: identifying and researching community problems; identifying and proposing possible solutions (projects); planning and implementing these solutions (service); making explicit connections to grade appropriate learning standards; reflecting on their service; demonstrating the results of their project; and working with appropriate school and community organizations and individuals to accomplish the above, etc.; and
b. those related to sustaining CSL. For example, plans for forming a CSL Leadership Team, curriculum development/integration, professional development, etc. Note: Applicants must offer a minimum of two trainings on effective service-learning.
9. Integration with Other Educational and Service Initiatives: Describe the plan to integrate CSL with other educational and service initiatives in the district (e.g., CSL will be introduced as a component of Academic Support programs or CSL will be focused on meeting needs currently being met by the community’s AmeriCorps program).
The Summer Bridge Academic Support Program is considering incorporating a CSL experience into the summer and school year follow-up.
The students involved in the already-established New Orleans and New York Projects were interviewed for this grant and they have already volunteered to become part of the District CSL Initiative Committee. The teacher who brings students on these service-learning trips will be the instructor of the graduate course offered to the entire K-12 faculty.

10. Evaluation: Provide a plan for evaluating the program’s progress with respect to implementing service-learning activities and institutionalizing service-learning. Consider collecting attendance, discipline, grade, and MCAS data as part of the evaluation. Note: Planning and Implementation A, B, and C grantees are required to administer teacher, community partner, and pre- and post-student surveys to both a group of CSL participants and a comparison group. The Department provides survey tools.


Evaluation
Pre and post surveys to teachers, community partners, and students.
Increase the number of teachers involved in CSL.
Increase the number of curriculum units created by teachers in the summer of 2010 to be implemented in SY2010.
Increase the number of students engaged in CSL in SY2010.
The number of teachers who successfully complete the graduate course in CSL.
The successful establishment of a district committee and attendance lists and agendas of at least three meetings
Documentation of the presentation of the New Orleans CSL project in February and the number of attendees at the presentation.
Interviews with students who participated in the New Orleans, New York, and North Middlesex CSL projects in SY2009.








COMMUNITY SERVICE-LEARNING PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION GRANT – FUND CODE: 354-B
ACTIVITIES AND TIMELINE
School Year 2009-2010
(Copy this page as many times as is needed for the response.)
List or group chronologically if possible by start date.

Activity
Individual(s) Responsible
Schedule/ Timeframe
Activity Supports Implementation, Institutionalization, or Both?
September 2009: Establish District CSL Committee made up of teachers, administrators, students, community members, and parents
Charged with
    • increasing CSL understanding and engagement in the district
    • maintaining quality CSL experiences
    • supporting and sustaining CSL
    • measuring the impact of CSL
    • developing partnerships
  • Meet at least three times each year

Kane/Brady
September- June
Both
February New Orleans Service Learning Program: Students, parents, teachers travel to New Orleans for ten days during February vacation. Students work in the community in a variety of ways. They maintain journals and provide a final reflection.
Kane/New Orleans Committee
September to March
Both
March
Presentation of New Orleans Service Learning Program to School Committee

Service Learning Night entire NM community invited.
Kane/New Orleans Committee
March
Both
April to August: Graduate course in CSL
· April/May service in practice: area projects, begin to develop resource manual for district
· May/June visit other programs in other districts
· July/August create curricula and present to class
· SY2010 implement CSL in classrooms
Kane/Brady/teachers in graduate class
April to August
Both


COMMUNITY SERVICE-LEARNING PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION GRANT – FUND CODE: 354-B
ACTIVITIES AND TIMELINE
School Year 2009-2010
(Copy this page as many times as is needed for the response.)
List or group chronologically if possible by start date.

Activity
Individual(s) Responsible
Schedule/ Timeframe
Activity Supports Implementation, Institutionalization, or Both?
May: New York Service Learning Program: Memorial Day Weekend travel to New York.




Kane/New York Committee
March to May
Both
District CSL Committee convenes to assess the year’s progress and to plan for SY2010
Brady/Kane
September 2010
Both