06/03/2011
Teacher Tribute
Supporting teachers at an international baccalaureate school

Hill-Freedman uses Need in Deed framework to achieve school's goals

How do we live in relation to others? How can I contribute to the community? How can I help others? These are questions students at Hill-Freedman Middle School are challenged to address as IB (international baccalaureate) learners.

Last spring teachers at the Mt. Airy school approached Need in Deed to help them effectively integrate issues of service and community into the curriculum in grades 6 through 8. The school is the first middle years International Baccalaureate school in the School District of Philadelphia, and the administration was eager to find a systematic approach to realize their ambitious goals.

Two teachers from the school joined NID's teacher network: Pamela Taylor Anderson and Del Gore. Their participation, supplemented by NID-led professional development sessions for the entire faculty, gave teachers the tools and resources they needed to help students identify issues of concern and shape yearlong service-learning projects to address those concerns.

Seven advisory classes, and autistic support, life skills support and multiple disabilities support classes successfully completed "My Voice" projects, with guidance from NID staff. The topics students addressed included:

  • poverty (creation of a vegetable garden)
  • physical bullying (PSA and children's book)
  • obesity (health food fair and health pledge)
  • domestic violence (podcast and fundraiser for Women Against Abuse)
  • poverty and childhood illiteracy (book drive for residents of a family shelter)
  • animal abuse (fundraiser and peer education event)
  • teen violence (school survey followed by creation of a website and documentary), and
  • racial tension (cultural festival)
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