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Service project to save the Earth



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May 14, 2014 - About 130 young teenagers filled downtown Clarkston last week on a mission to save the Earth.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not,” a quote by Dr. Seuss, along with sketched artwork of a bird holding a flower over the Earth symbolized April Kosin’s eighth grade science students' Academic Service Learning Project.

The Clarkston Junior High School students visited Depot Park in downtown Clarkston, May 8, after a trip to Clarkston Elementary. They visited second grade students to teach what they had learned about the importance of caring for Earth.

CJHS students taught younger students ways to conserve energy and water, recycle and all about helping to keep the Earth clean.

Kosin said the project teaches students to explore issues and take a stand.

Before taking their knowledge to the classroom, the eighth grade students identified community needs and researched topics before deciding to make their project about the Earth.  

Students analyzed facts and worked in groups to create a poster of important information on various subjects and a multitude of Earth friendly steps anyone can take.

Kosin’s kids created two calendars, one for businesses and another for students.

Student calendars included crosswords, mazes and other activities to engage students. Calendars also included facts on a whole range of topics encouraging students to make everyday Earth Day.

“We got into small groups and made calendar pages about different topics like recycling,” said student Vincent Conforti.

Students worked for three weeks on the calendars before passing them out to local businesses.

On May 8, after their trip to Clarkston Elementary and lunch in the park, the students came back to downtown to pass out calendars they created for a service learning project.

Kosin said the service projects is meant to teach students to see beyond the classroom and apply educational skills like math, science and language arts to projects that benefit the community.

Kosin applied for and received a grant offered to teachers at the CJHS to fund the project.

Even after the calendars are made, and the project is graded, the students work will keep on doing good in the world.

“With the rest of the calendars the kids are going to ask school staff if would be interested in buying one," said Kosin.

Students decided to use donations to buy Lifestraw water filters. The filters can be used to clean up to 1,000 liters of water.

“We will send them to Africa,” she said.

This type of project is "authentic learning," Kosin said.

“It keeps kids engaged and keeps them aware of what’s going on around them,” she insists. “It also keeps them excited for learning its authentic learning.”

Seeing her students excited about learning has its own rewards.

“I get excited for the kids when I see how much they grow through the project,” Kosin smiled. "I get excited when kids are engaged in learning."

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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