N.R. Burger Middle School and Red Cross of Southeast Mississippi Community Service Projects

Duration of partnership - 2 years
102 volunteers
100 students impacted
As a history teacher at N.R. Burger Middle School, Tristal Watson felt it was her responsibility to teach not only history, geography, and economics, but also civic education. During the month of December, her classroom activities focused on the rights, duties and responsibilities of citizens.
Ms. Watson approached the Red Cross of Southeast Mississippi about coordinating a community-service activity for all of her history classes, which included approximately 100 students. As a part of the project, the students created hand-written holiday cards to send to troops serving in Afghanistan. Although students are not old enough to serve their country, they understand the risks that soldiers take and wanted to express their thanks and appreciation for their service.
Student-made cards included encouraging words, short poems and creative slogans, which helped students incorporate language arts skills into the project. In addition to holiday cards, students wrote a one-page essay about the importance of community service. For the third part of the project, students were asked to choose a service project of their own to complete outside of school. Their choices included a local nursing home, the fire department and a local animal shelter.
Ms. Watson and class members made presentations about their service projects during a school-wide awards ceremony that included members from the community and parents. Students talked about the importance of civic engagement and what they learned through citizenship education.