February 2018 Newsletter
Program Highlights
Kids Action Team and Race Against Waste Site Visits
Over the month of February, the Service in Schools (SIS) Team has traveled throughout the city to visit teachers participating in the Kids Action Team and Race Against Waste programs. Their students are in the investigation and preparation phases of their service-learning projects and are making great strides toward benefitting their communities.

 Using media sources, interviews, surveys, and observation methods, each student group has gained in-depth knowledge on ways to help their communities. For example, the Race Against Waste Green Team at City College Academy of Arts watched the documentary Rats to learn about the impact of excess waste on rat and human populations all over the world. Fifth grade students and Kids Action Team members at P.S 17 in Queens interviewed a staff member from Bowery Mission to learn about the root causes of homelessness and how young people can help address this issue. Students at the High School of Fashion Industries are surveying their peers about their knowledge of environmental sustainability and presenting ways they can make a difference with their school’s fabric recycling initiative. Finally, students across the city have observed recycling habits in their school communities by conducing waste audits of classroom and hallway trash. The SIS Team is very excited to see how these students transform their research into action!

The SIS Team also heard from Ms. Francis Tolan, a teacher from Leaders of Tomorrow who attended the SIS Partner Fair last October. After connecting with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at the Partner Fair, Ms. Tolan and her 8 th grade student government decided to participate in the Pennies for Patients program. In their first round, the student government diverted $194.63 away from the vending machine and put it toward valuable blood cancer research.

It is always great for the SIS team to hear stories like this one! If you would like to share a story of students’ exemplary service, please email a brief summary and photos of students with media consent on file to ServiceinSchools@schools.nyc.gov .
School Spotlight
P.S. 69, Staten Island
Project Summary: Ms. Miller’s 5 th grade class has expanded their efforts to promote animal adoption into a club that cares for puppies throughout the day and helps manage their adoptions. 

Investigation: To learn more about the animal shelter system and animal adoption, students interviewed Alexandra Silver, the Community Advocacy and Outreach Manager at Animal Care Centers of NYC. During the interview, students learned about what animal shelters are like, the importance of fostering and adopting animals, and the various ways they can help puppies stay happy and healthy.
Planning: With support from her principal, Ms. Miller found litters that needed fostering through Fur Friends In Need Rescue, and colleagues volunteered to foster puppy pairs at night. During the day, the students are the puppies’ caregivers. The students also set up profiles for each puppy on Adopt a Pet , wrote bios for them, reviewed puppy adoption applications with their teacher, and set up an Amazon Wish List to ensure they had enough supplies for the project.

Action: While the puppies are waiting to be adopted, the students and teachers at P.S 69 work together to take care of them. Students take shifts during their lunch period to weigh, feed, and socialize the puppies. Once the applicants and puppies have been matched with families, the students and teachers will throw a party for all of the families who adopted dogs and provide each family with a dog that has been socialized with children of all ages. Further, other schools have gotten involved! P.S. 53’s Light House Team donated supplies, and I.S. 72’s Save the Animals Team is going to foster puppies as well.

Reflection: The students are eager to expand their work to the neighboring middle school and are spreading the word about the various way to help dogs in need. One student said, “These animals need homes, and we can give that to them.” He noted that there are many ways to help, like donating blankets and towels to a local shelter. In fact, at the last event, he and his family adopted Callie, a beagle pup! 
Current and Upcoming Opportunities
New York Blood Center
Ongoing Opportunity for Students Ages 16 and Up
Help save lives in the community by providing a positive experience for donors at mobile blood drives. New York Blood Center is looking for Volunteer Ambassadors to ensure a safe and smooth process for blood donors. Volunteer activities include meeting and greeting blood donors, explaining forms and information relevant to donors, providing a safe and pleasant post-donation experience, and more. At larger blood drives, volunteers may be able to dress as Heroglobin, the life-saving blood drop. Participants must be 16 years or older, have a desire to help, excellent communication skills with attention to detail and accuracy, and mobility in order to attend to donors. Click here for more information, and click here to apply to volunteer.
Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
Ongoing opportunity for all ages
Friends of Van Cortlandt Park invites educators to bring students of all grade levels to the third largest park in New York City for a unique service-learning experience in a beautiful natural setting. Whether engaging in a one-time visit or recurring visits, students will have fun while learning the importance of preserving nature. The student programs include Forester for a Day, Garden Exploration, Freshwater Ecology, and more. Click here to learn more about the student programs. Contact Sara Kempton or call 718-601-1553 to register.
Reading Partners
Ongoing opportunity for students ages 14 and up
Reading Partners is an organization dedicated to unlocking the skills of students who struggle with reading. It provides one-on-one reading instruction to elementary school students reading below grade level to help them succeed in school and in life. Reading Partners believes that given the right support and resources, all children can learn to read. The organization is looking for volunteer tutors ages 14 and up who will receive research-based, structured lesson plans designed to focus on the individual needs of the students. Tutors are required to commit to at least one hour per week. Click here for more information on volunteering.
Resource Highlights
The Story of Stuff
Environmental Non-Profit
The Story of Stuff began as a viral video sensation and has grown into a movement working to change the way that people make, use, and throw away stuff. Their educational videos cover a wide range of topics, including the water crisis in Flint Michigan, Citizens United vs. the FCC, and the effects of consumerism on the environment. By taking complex issues and creating engaging videos geared toward youth, Story of Stuff is engaging the next generation in civic action and responsibility. Students can join one of their campaigns and take action to better the world. To access their free collection of videos, click here .   
Anti-Bullying Lesson Plans
Since 1990 , GLSEN has been working to make K-12 schools safe places for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Today, GLSEN inclusive programming can be found in tens of thousands of schools nationwide, and educators, students, and parents can find a wide variety of free resources on their website. Their lesson plans and toolkits for K-12 teachers and students encourage dialogue about addressing bias and creating inclusive communities. For teacher guides, click here , and to access these lessons, click here

Contact the Service in Schools Team
Invite the Service in Schools team to visit your service project. We want to see your students and school community in action. Email the Service in Schools team at ServiceinSchools@schools.nyc.gov with two weeks’ notice, and we’ll schedule a visit to your school to learn about your project and see the impact you’re making on the community. 
Follow @ServicenSchools to receive program updates, upcoming service opportunities, resources, and more. We encourage students who use Twitter and are interested in service opportunities to follow us.
Mission: Service in Schools strives to expand the number of NYC students engaged in transformative community service and service-learning experiences that enable them to use their voice, skills, and critical thinking to strengthen communities.