In June 2017, Family and School Services launched a new Out of School program at Hazelwood Middle School in New Albany, Ind., with the focus on advocacy and community service.
Students began the summer discussing what it means to be an advocate, and identifying community issues they wanted to change. Students created an “advocate superhero” that possesses the superpowers needed to change the community issues of his/her choice.
Students focused on issues such as animal cruelty, pollution, texting and driving, bullying, substance abuse, and teen depression. Lessons culminated in a final project where students created their own Public Service Announcements, which involved writing, rehearsing, and filming their finished product. Students identified the problem, explained why it is a problem, and then discussed what they could do to combat the problem.
In addition to the advocacy project, students volunteered for several community service projects. These included making gifts for public library patrons whose disabilities prevented them from visiting the library to check out books, and making dog and cat toys for animals at the local animal shelter.
They also created “Adopt me” posters (featuring slogans created and designed by the students) which they placed outside the cages of black cats at the local animal shelter.