01/12/2010
My Voice My Community
Step over the line: students and Classroom Partners explore social issues

Comcast employees engage with 5th graders at Grover Washington Jr. Middle School

“Step over the line if you’ve ever been bullied,” called out teacher Charron Zeigler-Fayall. Almost everyone stepped forward.

Comcast employees Sam Slaughter, Chelsea Badeau, Ian Pilling, David Kapenstein and Tracy Phillips joined 5th graders at Grover Washington Jr. Middle School for an on-your-feet exercise designed to help students reflect interactively on social problems that concern them.

The group from Comcast works for Comcast Interactive Media, a department within the company that is part of NID’s Classroom Partnership initiative. In this capacity they have chosen to become involved with their partner classes through regular classroom visits and interactions with the two classes with whom they are partnered at Grover, the 5th grade classes taught by Gwen Huett and Charron Ziegler-Fayall.

Most recently CIM staff were invited to a special “Mix & Mingle” event at Grover, hosted by the two classes. The students led the adults through several interactive exercises designed to help the students narrow down their list of possible topics for their yearlong projects. Among those being considered are pollution, child abuse, homelessness and gun violence.

"It's amazing for us to see how service-learning can take these kids from passively absorbing lessons to being active architects of their own education," says Sam Slaughter, coordinator of the CIM volunteers. "We love being around that kind of positive energy; it makes our classroom visits a joy we look forward to. We are excited to help shape and support these projects for the rest of the year and for years to come."