Sophomore honors history class begins service project


Students in Mrs. Tobey’s Honors History Class will complete service projects to help the community

Courtney Gorman

Students in Mrs. Tobey's Honors History Class will complete service projects to help the community

The students of Mrs.Lee Tobey’s US History I Honors class are doing something different than most other classes are for their semester projects: instead of writing a term paper, Tobey has organized a service project.  She started the annual project two years ago with intentions of getting the students more involved in the community and helping them to become more active members of society, in hopes that they will gain an interest in continuing with community service projects. Speaking about the project, sophomore Marisa Mansen said, “we were all kind of looking for a way to help the community and this was the opportunity to get together and actually make it happen, it was the push we needed.”

By letting the students choose their own group members and the project they would like to complete, Mrs. Tobey hopes the students will complete the project with as little help from her as possible. To begin, the students must submit a proposal before February vacation to get approval to begin their project, and a mid-point progress report must also be submitted by the students to give updates. Along with the progress report and proposal, each group must present their idea in front of the class and explain their projects to their peers. As in past years, if a group needs funding for their project they must write a business letter to local companies asking for donations.  In order to grade the projects, Mrs. Tobey uses a group-grading system in which students grade other members of their group based on their effort and participation on the project. The system is designed to hold students accountable for the amount of work and help they gave toward the project. The students will not be graded on how successful their project turns out, but the amount of work and effort that they put into it. In addition to the group work, every student must submit a written summary on the project experience for them personally.

The only service project that is mandatory is a Best Buddies field day, and a number of students have already volunteered to help run the event.  The field day has been very successful in the past and is highly anticipated by the members of the Best Buddies Club. The other service project proposals range from volunteering at hospitals, organizing walks to raise money, staging a battle of the bands, or selling items to raise money for a cause.

By letting the students choose their own group members and come up with their own idea for a project, Mrs. Tobey hopes that the students will become more interested in the success of their projects. When asked about the project, Mrs. Tobey said, “I saw this as an opportunity for students to become engaged in the community.  For the students to do something good for themselves and society. The students will be able to use this experience when they apply for NHS (National Honor Society) or on their college applications as well.” The service project will benefit the students in multiple ways; by giving them community service hours, helping them gain an interest in service, and showing them what it is like to give back to the community.