Students at Blodgett Middle School will be using a new iPad, digital camera, graphing calculators and electronic bugs in their classrooms thanks to an ambassador program with Syracuse University and local company SRC.
The students received the equipment during classroom presentation in February. SU students and staff, teachers from the Syracuse City School district and community leaders were able to see, first hand, the benefits of the LCS-SRC Engineering Ambassadors Program.
Even outfitted with a puffy down jacket and equipped with a heavy-duty snow blower, winters in Syracuse are brutal. Each year 1,000 refugees arrive in Central New York from countries like Bhutan and Republic of the Congo, where flip-flops are year-round footwear and snow is not in the forecast. The students at Expeditionary Learning Middle School are collecting boots for Hopeprint, a local non-profit organization that helps to facilitate these refugees’ transition to the United States. Service learning is a component to the multi-disciplinary learning experience at ELMS.
ELMS is a unique learning environment where students are divided into multi-aged, single-gender CREWS, with a faculty member as their leader.
“The CREW is centered around experiential learning, fitness, literacy, numeracy and service learning,” said Mary Beth Murray, CREW Coordinator and AVID teacher. “It is the foundation of how our whole building runs.”
Since 2008, service learning has been an integrated part of the learning philosophy. In the past, each CREW would select its own project and participate in service, but due to lack of funding, the faculty decided to collaborate on one area that would involve everyone participating in the same activity said Mark Loftus, CREW leader and resource teacher.
The Educational Foundation, launched in 2003, is a nonprofit corporation led by a 28-member board. The Board of Directors is comprised of community representatives, school district administrators, local government officials and two district high school students. Teachers and administrators from around the district propose ideas to the Board as both groups work together to enhance students’ education.
According to Jan Quitzau, Foundation Administrator, the organization was “formed to provide supplemental educational opportunities for kids of the district…it funds projects that wouldn’t normally be included in the district budgets.” He added, “We encourage teachers and administrators to kind of think outside the box a little bit.”
On a rainy Friday afternoon, Coach Chris Pelligra cancelled practice, yet five members of the Fowler Boys Soccer team showed up to play. The devotion of these men is partly the reason that the squad is off to a 4-2-2 start this season, but there is more to this team than a winning record. The team, comprised of eighteen high school students and an eighth grader, is more than a group of young men playing well together. It is a collection of athletes from different countries, cultures and backgrounds who play together as friends, all with the same goal: to win Sectionals.