March 2015 - Service Learning
New Providence School District's Partnership with the Developmental Learning Center
Over the last three years New Providence schools have developed close working relationships with the Developmental Learning Center (DLC) at the Morris-Union Jointure Commission.
As the school district strives to develop Service Learning, this partnership has become an important cornerstone of the rapidly developing program.
The Salt Brook 6th Grade Pen Pal Program with the DLC began in September with letters of introduction between the two groups of students.
The program is being run by over seventy Salt Brook students who meet regularly during lunch and recess to organize events and to continue the lines of communication with holiday, Valentine's and St. Patrick's Day cards and letters.
In addition, small groups of students have been visiting the DLC this year for events such as the Halloween Festival, the Winter Wonderland program and a Dr. Seuss-themed Science Fair. In the recent Science Fair, the students made "ooblek", designed catapults, and planted seedlings in compost, all of the activities being based on books written by Dr. Seuss.
Since the Science Fair visit, the Salt Brook students have been planning a Spring picnic and field day for the DLC students. The students have been working collaboratively in small groups and using their field trip experiences to create developmentally appropriate games, crafts, and activities for the DLC students.
The day will start with a shared picnic lunch to reestablish the friendships and then the students will partner up and participate in the various planned activities.
Congratulations to all the students involved in this unique program for all their hard work and time
Allen W. Roberts
DLC students shared a video and short individual presentations that highlighted their school experiences. Following their presentation, AWR students had an opportunity to ask questions and provide DLC students with positive feedback. Students from both schools were excited to learn more about each school’s differences, but also quickly made connections to the similarities in both programs.
By the end of the visit, all of the students were eager to share personal stories and interests with each other, culminating in a vote on who would win the upcoming Super Bowl.
AWR students are excited for future collaboration between the schools and will be inviting DLC students to join them for an outdoor Science investigation before the end of the school year.
Middle School and High School
In February, a group of DLC students visited with the 7-12 students and participated in an ice breaking breakfast in which they had a chance to talk about the goals of the program and their normal school day.
The students then visited a variety of classes together, spending time in the art classrooms and the TV production studio. An engaging lunch program followed, with an opportunity for even more student interaction and discussion time.
This Spring, the students met again at the DLC to participate in Operation Shoebox, a service learning project in which the students worked collaboratively to package candy, label boxes and load them onto a truck for delivery to our troops abroad.
This exciting and innovative partnership will continue to develop into the next school year, with a variety of new events being planned. Thank you to all the NPHS and NPMS students who have given up their time for this program.