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Classrooms with a Cause

Classrooms with a Cause

Student Guide

Student Guide | 1

Classrooms with a Cause

Use Your Spark*


What is your spark? A spark is an activity or interest that truly engages kids to be their
best, such as creative arts, athletics, or learning a specific subject. Your spark could be
anything from math to singing to playing soccer, and as you lead your service project, you
can use your spark to create change in your community.
Think about a reason you might use your spark during your service project. Is there an
issue in your community you feel passionate about? Thats your fire! For example, you
could feel strongly about protecting animal rights or encouraging your community to eat
healthy foods. Once you start your service project, your fire becomes your cause.
Now, watch this short video of Daniel, a student at Elsa Elementary School in Texas.
Daniel and his classmates raised over $7,000 for a local food bank and held a rally on the
steps of the State Capitol Building.
Reflect: What were your first
reactions to the video? What is
Daniels fire? How do you know?

Visit http://www.YSA.org/hunger_warriors to watch the


video.

Whats next? How can you


combine your spark to do
something ASAP? ASAP is a set
of strategies for taking action.
Awareness: educating people
about an issue and inspiring them
to change their behavior
Service: taking direct, hands-on action to address the issue
Advocacy: convincing local leaders to address the issue or change a policy (a rule used by
a government, a business, or a school)
Passio
n
(Spark
)
Animal
s
Footbal
l
Writing
Music

Issue
(Fire)

Strategy
(ASAP!)

Project

Endangered
Species
Mentoring

Awareness

Affordable
Housing
Curing
Cancer

Advocacy

Organize and develop social media messages about


an endangered species.
Help coach a football team for younger kids, and
serve as a positive role model.
Organize a campaign to write letters to your Member
of Congress to advocate for cheaper housing.
Hold a charity karaoke competition and donate the
proceeds from ticket sales to a cancer research
center.

Service

Philanthropy

Philanthropy: raising and donating money or supplies for the issue

*Special thanks to Search Institute and the late Dr. Peter Benson.

Student Guide | 2

Classrooms with a Cause

For Example:

Spark + Fire + ASAP = Youth Changing the World


Now, its your turn to create an example! In addition to spark, fire, and ASAP, reflect on
the idea peer and adult partners, or community members who help support you and
your project and share your impact. For example, a peer partner might help you edit your
persuasive letter, and an adult partner might help you set goals. Do you think peer and
adult partners are important? Why or why not? How could you build positive and
meaningful partnerships with adults and peers in your community?
Directions:
1. Draw a picture of a person.
2. Give them a name.
3. Identify their Spark, Fire, and
ASAP (one or more).
4. Write down ways that Adult
and Peer Partners could support
this person.
5. Share the person that you
created with everyone!
Optional: Break into small
groups for this activity.
Reminder:
A=Awareness
S=Service
The 4 Cs
A=Advocacy
P=Philanthropy

Name
Adult
Partner-

Spark

Peer
Partner-

ASAP

Fire

Notes/Ideas:

_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Take it to the next level: Now, draw your own Spark + Fire + ASAP page. Include your
spark, your fire, and ways you could educate, serve, advocate, or give. Then, brainstorm
how you could work together with peer and adult partners to create change in your
community!

Student Guide | 3

Classrooms with a Cause

The 4 Cs
What are they? Watch this video to find out!
Once youve watched the
video, look at the table
below to learn more about
the 4 Cs and how you can
use them in your service
project!

The skill:
Critical Thinking
and Problem
Solving

What does it
mean?
You know how to pick
out the information
you need from a
challenging situation
to figure out how to
solve problems.

Creativity and
Innovation

Youre great at
coming up with new
ideas and different
ways to do projects.

Communication

You know how to tell


or show people your
ideas so they
understand easily.

Collaboration

You know how to be


a team player and
work well together
with others.

When have you used this skill in school?


See the video at: http://bit.ly/YSA4Csvideo.

Student Guide | 4

Check-in: Are you using Creativity and Innovation Skills?

Classrooms with a Cause

See page 5 for more information, then page 20 for a full rubric.

Think Globally, Act Locally


What do you know about your cause? Write a description or draw a picture of what your
cause looks like globally, in your country, in your state, and in your city.
The World
[Write a description or draw a
picture of your cause globally]

My Country
[Write a description or draw a
picture of your cause in your
country]

My State
[Write a description or draw a
picture of your cause in your state]

My Town/City
[Write a description or draw a
picture of your cause in your city]

When You Are Finished: Reflect! Do you notice any patterns? How is your
cause similar globally, in your country, in your state, and in your city? How is it
different? How might your project create change locally and connect globally?

Student Guide | 5

Classrooms with a Cause

What is my impact?

How do I know?

Awareness
Your project can raise
awareness
about a particular issue. In other
words, you teach people about your
issue and encourage them to change
their a behavior.
Example: We plan to educate people
about the issue of childhood hunger.

Service
Your project can provide service.
In other words, you take action,
volunteer, or set up programs to help
people in need.
Example: We plan to collect and
recycle trash on our campus.

Advocacy
Your project can advocate for a
policy1. In order words, you argue for
or support a policy change.
Example: We plan to write letters to
public officials to persuade them to
support the community garden policy.

Philanthropy
Your project can give money or
materials for philanthropic
purposes. In other words, you give
money or supplies to help people in
need.
Example: We plan to raise money to
build an e-library at our school.

For example

Number of educational
events you plan and host
Number of people who
attend your educational
events

We will educate 500


people about the issue
of childhood hunger.

Pounds of trash collected


and recycled
Number of reusable items
collected
Number of reusable
items/artifacts made

We will plan to collect


and recycle 20 pounds
of trash at our school.

Number of petitions or
pledges signed
Number of messages sent to
public officials

We will write 50 letters


to public officials to
persuade them to
support the community
garden policy.

Dollar amount raised


Number of donors

We will raise $1000 to


build an e-library at our
school.

Check-in: Are you using Critical Thinking and


Problem Solving Skills? See page 20 for a full
rubric.

Measuring Impact

1 A policy is a rule used by a government, a business, or a school.

Student Guide | 6

Your
Impa

Classrooms with a Cause

Check-in: Are you using Critical Thinking and


Problem Solving Skills? See page 20 for a full
rubric.

Key Words for Measuring Impact:

Impact is a powerful effect or result of


action.
If something is measurable, we can
find out its size, length, or amount.
Data are facts or information used to
measure, study, or plan something.
How to collect the
data?
Sample Data
Collection Methods:
Observations (what do you see?)
Photos (before, during, and after shots)
Interviews with project beneficiaries (the people you are helping) and
community partners
Pre- and post-surveys
Evaluations
Statistics and counting
Dont

forget that you can also measure your impact by:


Hours of service
Items made, collected, or distributed
People impacted directly or indirectly (estimate)
Dollar value of the service hours at the minimum wage ($7.25/hour as of
2014) or Independent Sector calculation ($22.55/hour as of 2014)
Satisfaction with the project (student and those served, via interview or
survey)

Student Guide | 7

Classrooms with a Cause

Check-in: Are you using Critical Thinking and


Problem Solving Skills? See page 20 for a full
rubric.

Academic Connections
Think about the ways you could improve your cause in your community that you
identified on page 3 and the impact you will make. What have you studied in class
this year that would help you complete your project?

___________________
______________________
In

we

learned/or

are

learning

about

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
______________________________, which will help us with our service project.

How will you use what you have learned this year/last year to help you plan and
complete your project?

We

can

use

what

we

know

about

____________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_
for

_____________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_
_______________________________________________________________________
_
_______________________________________________________________________

Student Guide | 8

Classrooms with a Cause

_
_______________________________________________________________________
_

Student Guide | 9

Check-in: Are you using Critical Thinking and

Classrooms with a Cause

Problem Solving Skills? See page 20 for a full


rubric.

Is This Project Doable?


If you feel comfortable moving forward with your idea as an individual, as
a group, or as a class, describe your project in 3-5 Sentences. For example:
We are applying what we learned in our language arts class this year to bring
awareness to school bullying. We will achieve this by teaching younger students in
our school how to treat their peers with respect. We will measure our success by
the number of students that we mentor.

Ask yourselves these questions:

Does this project apply what you studied in class this year? Yes

No

Will you be able to see the change that you made in your community?
Yes
No
If yes, please describe:

Will you be able to keep track of your progress throughout the project?
Yes
No
How will you do that? ______________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

Why is this project important to you?

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

Can you get the project completed in time?

Yes

No

Can this project be completed without a lot of fundraising? Yes

If you need money, how will you get it?


Does this project require resources other than money?

Yes

No
No

If so, what are those resources and where will you get them?

Student Guide | 10

Classrooms with a Cause

Classrooms with a Cause Student Contract

Once you have completed the above questions: Did you answer no to any
of the questions? If you did, revise your project summary until you answer yes
Please
print and sign the following form and return it to your teacher or mentor.
for each.
I will make this a positive experience by
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
I will work well with others by
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Student
Signature
Date_____________________
Teacher
or
Mentor
Date___________________
Parent
or
Guardian
Date__________________

_________________________________________

Signature

Signature

_______________________________

___________________________

Student Guide | 11

Classrooms with a Cause

Check-in: Are you using Communication Skills?


See page 21 for a full rubric.

Contacting Issue Experts


Issue experts can help you identify community needs; find effective strategies and
resources to address those needs, and refine your project idea by providing
feedback; and spread the word about your project.
Who to contact?
o Passionate, interesting peoplepeople who want to get others involved!
o Set up a Google Alert or do a Twitter search about your issuewho in
your community is making news?
o Attend a community workshop or lecture. Check out the community
events calendar in your local newspaper for a listing of these events.
o Experts connected with these organizations working on your issue
o Government agencies or departments
o Universities or colleges
o Organizations working on a local level in the community you identified
How to contact?
o Once you have identified someone to contact, do more research to learn
about their work and their accomplishments. Check out their website or
Twitter feed, or read articles they have written.
o Send an introductory email asking for a short (5-10 minute) phone call or ask
them direct questions in the email. Describe briefly:
o Your inspiration and project - why this issue is important to you and
what you are doing about it?
o Your ask - the advice or support you are seeking.
o Your assets - how the expert will benefit from advising or working with
you.
o Your availability - days and times when you are free to talk.
Sample Introductory Email
Dear Dr. Mahon,
I recently read about your research on the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast every day for students.
I would like to speak with you because I am also very interested in this issue! I am a middle school
student and my class is hoping to spread awareness about childhood hunger in our community and the
importance of school breakfast programs. Our goal is to use what we have learned about nutrition in our
health class to research for the cause of fighting childhood hunger and educate others about this issue at
the end of our project.
Would you be available for a brief (5-10 minutes) phone call with me? I would like to talk with you about
the connection between childhood hunger and nutrition, and I would appreciate your advice on how we
could best attack this issue in our project. I am hoping that we can contribute to your research by sharing
some of the data we have collected so far. I am available from 4:30pm to 6:00pm from Monday to
Thursday and after 2:00pm on Fridays. Please let me know which date and time works best for you.
Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you!
Respectfully,
Kevin G.

Student Guide | 12

Check-in: Are you using the 4 Cs? See pages 20-21

Classrooms with a Cause

for a full rubric.

Check-In
Something Im proud of

Something I need to
improve

My personal goals

Reflect!
Think about how your project connects with what you have learned in school, and
how you are proposing to help your community. What is your impact? Is it
measurable?

Other ways to think about your project:

Create a video or digital presentation (PowerPoint, Prezi, Glogster); show it to


your parents and invite their feedback!
Create a storybook, story board, or digital story about your project.

Design a scrapbook or photo collage.

Write a poem or play based on your project.

Create a bulletin board display.


Keep a project journalon your own, or as a group.

Student Guide | 13

Check-in: Are you using Collaboration Skills? See

Classrooms with a Cause

Project Work Plan

page 21for a full rubric.

What tasks need to be done before you do your project? Complete the following table to help you assign jobs.

What needs
to be done?

Who will
do it?

Time needed
to complete

Due Date

Student Guide | 14

Check-in: Are you using Collaboration Skills? See

Classrooms with a Cause

page 21 for a full rubric.

Resources

What resources do you need to do your project? You might need money to buy materials or collect
donations.

What will you need


for your project?

Where will you


get it?

Who will get it?

What will it cost?

Student Guide | 15

Classrooms with a Cause

Total Cost

Student Guide | 16

Classrooms with a Cause

Check-in: Are you using

Social Media: Tips and Tricks

Communication Skills?
See page 21 for a full
rubric.

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your good work. Whether you have been active
on social media before or not, learning the basics are simple. Social media allows you to
access both a local and a global audiencemillions of volunteers, supporters, and youth
activists like you waiting to be a part of your movement.
Before you get started, reflect on your goals: what are you hoping to gain using social media?
What does your message look like? Who is your target audience? For example, your goal
could be to reach other students like you who are doing similar projects.

The Platform: Twitter

Twitter users post on the Twitosphere in 140-character-long segments.

The Audience: Your followers, plus anyone who searches for hashtags in your post.

Good things to know:

Hashtags are searchable and allow fellow users to find your posts more easily. Tip: make

sure your hashtags fit with your message! Search a hashtag before using it for the first time.

Brand keywords should always be hashtagged (ex: #YSA, #YouthService,


#ServiceLearning).

See a cool tweet that fits your project? Spread the word and retweet it!
Choose who you follow carefully. Before following other users, reflect: does it make
sense for your mission and message to follow them?
The Platform: Instagram

Instagram allows you to share your project photos and videos. You can also use
hashtags (see hashtag tips above). When you post, be sure to tag #YSA!

The Audience: Your followers, plus anyone who searches hashtags in your post.
Good things to know:

Tag people who are in your photos or videos and organizations or companies who share
your mission.

Choose your photos and videos carefully, and check with everybody in your photo
or video before posting it or tagging them; remember, once a photo is on Instagram, it
becomes public domain.

The Platform: Video Sharing

YouTube, Vimeo, and TeacherTube are all platforms for publishing your videos online.

Good things to know:


Your video description should be clear and detailed; make sure you answer who, what,
when, where, why, and how!
Tag YSA with YouthService so we can help spread the word! You can also tag fellow
users and organizations.
Student Guide | 17

Classrooms with a Cause

Check-in: Are you using

Communication Skills?
See page 21 for a full
rubric.

Social Media: Tips and Tricks (Continued)

The Platform: Blogs


The Platform: Facebook
Blogs allow you to write longer entries about your experience; if you havent already, check out
Facebook is a great place to connect with partners and organizations, like YSA, and
YSAs blog: www.YSA.org/blog!
reach your community with links, photos, videos, surveys, and more. Always tag
The Audience:
AnyService
internet America
user who when
knowsyou
about
your
blog.
Promoting
blog on twitter or
@Youth
post,
so we
can
see your your
project!
Facebook is a great way to increase your readership!
The Audience: Anyone you choose, including your Facebook friends, friends of friends, and
Good
to know:
more. things
Start with
the people you know and encourage them to share your message with their
friends.
Blogs can be thoughtful, funny, and more! Both Blogspot and blogger.com are
free
and
easy to
and blogger.com syncs with Gmail.
Good
things
to customize,
know:

Posts should be clear and detailed; make sure you answer who, what, when, where, why,
and how!

Tag any organizations or companies who share your mission.

Tip: try to post at least twice a week.

Dont forget:
Be passionate, but remember to keep things polite and positive!
Make sure you feel good about every post and every follower or friend you add.
Use peer editing to check your work before you publish it online.

On our website, on social media, or with our partners, YSA wants to tell your story!
Remember to:
Tag us in your photos, videos, and posts on social media at #YSA,
#YouthService, or #ServiceLearning.
Tweet links to your blog, news articles about your project, and more stories
about your community impact @YouthService.
Student Guide | 18
We can help spread the word about your project across the globe!

Classrooms with a Cause

Now You Are Ready!


Go through your plans, check to make sure that you have everything you need, and
make your project happen!

Check-in: Are you using Collaboration Skills? See

After Your Project

page 21 for a full rubric.

Celebrate and demonstrate your accomplishments! Be proud of


what you have doneand share that pride with all those who joined
in. Plan a presentation to your school community, the feeder
elementary school, the school board, or the City Council. Consider
using tri-fold boards; see the photo to the right, and check out page
18 for a template.
Contact elected officials. Write persuasive letters, reach out on
social media, or gather signatures from community members to invite
officials to your events, encourage them to participate, or ask for
changes in laws or government programs.
Announce results. Send a news release to local media; write an
article for the school or community newspaper; put announcements
in neighborhood or organizational bulletins, etc.

Student at Begich Middle School in Anchorage,


AK presents her tri-fold board to a public
audience (see page 18 for template).

Evaluate your success! Assess work sites, and take after photos. Check to be sure that the desired
outcomes for all stakeholders in the project were met.
Send thank-you notes to all sponsors and volunteers. Be sure to include city or county officials, school
personnel, PTA volunteers, and other school or community resources who helped you. If available, include copies
of before and after photos or news clippings about your project.
Share your results with YSA and be part of a global movement (see page 16).

Student Guide | 19

Tri-fold
Board with
Template:
Classrooms
a Cause
Use this page as a planning tool,
then create a larger tri-fold board
for your presentation
to your

community.

Check-in: Are you using Communication Skills? See page 21 for a full
rubric.

Project Title
Student Names
[1-2 sentence summary of your project]

[Insert graphs, statistics, and visual


aids here.]
My Results:
[See page 6-7, and publish the results of your
action here.]

My Action:
[Describe what you did to take
action, i.e. awareness, service,
advocacy, and/or philanthropy see
page 2]

About My Cause:
[See page 5]

The Call to Action:


[Explain what you
want people to do
after learning about
your project. See
page 6-7]

Visit www.YSA.org/classrooms for


more information on Classrooms
with a Cause.

[Insert Photos Here]

Resources:
[Websites,
interviews, books,
and anything else
you used to
complete your
project. See page
14]

Academic Connections: [What did you


learn? See page 8.]

Follow us on social media!


[Insert links to your Twitter,
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube,
TeacherTube, Vimeo, and/or blog
pages.]
Use #YSA, #YouthService, and
#ServiceLearning!
Student Guide | 20

Classrooms with a Cause

Presentation Rubric

Content
Knowledge

Support

Audience

Delivery &
Speaking

3 Meets
Standards
The presenter
included a
sufficient amount
of useful
information AND
demonstrated
deep
understanding of
the topic of the
presentation.

The evidence
includes ALL the
following
qualities:
relevant to the
claim; presented
logically; pulled
from credible
sources.
Used a speaking
style that is
appropriate to
the task,
purpose, and
audience.
The presenter
presented in a
clear way AND
successfully
engaged the
audience.

2 Partially
Meets Standards
The presenter has
ONLY ONE of the
following qualities:
included a
sufficient amount
of useful
information;
demonstrated deep
understanding of
the topic of the
presentation.
The evidence
includes some but
not all of the
following qualities:
relevant to the
claim; presented
logically; pulled
from credible
sources.
Used a speaking
style that is
somewhat
appropriate to the
task, purpose, and
audience.
The presenter
presented in a clear
way but did not
successfully
engage the
audience; OR

1- Does not Meet


Standards
The presenter did not
include a sufficient
amount of useful
information or
demonstrated deep
understanding of the
topic of the
presentation.

There is no evidence
or the evidence
includes none of the
following qualities:
relevant to the claim;
presented logically;
pulled from credible
sources.

Used a speaking
style that is not
appropriate to the
task, purpose, and
audience.

The presenter did not


present in a clear
way or successfully
engage the
audience.

The presenter did not


demonstrate active
listening skills when
others were
speaking.

Interaction

The presenter
demonstrated
active listening
skills when
others were

The presenter
successfully
engaged the
audience but did
not present in a
clear way.
The presenter
occasionally
demonstrated
active listening
skills when others

Student Guide | 21

Classrooms with a Cause

speaking and
effectively
responded to
others questions
and comments.

were speaking and


effectively
responded to
others questions
and comments.

Student Guide | 22

Classrooms with a Cause

4 Cs Rubrics

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Think
about why
the issue
is
important
to
address,
why we
should
care about
it, and
what we
can do
about it.

See page:

Have you:

Rate your
confidence in using
this skill (5=high,
1=low).

Page 8
(Academic
Connections)

Thought about a similar situation


in the past when coming across a
problem?

Please have your


teacher/mentor fill
out this section:

Pages 6-7
(Measuring
Impact)

Asked questions about what


other people might want in order to
solve the problem for all people
involved? Made conclusions based
on information that was given?

2
5

Page 9 (Is
This Project
Doable?)

Thought before making decisions


and understood that one decision can
affect many different parts?

2
5

Creativity and Innovation

Encourage
creativity,
originality,
new ideas
and ways
of doing
things.

See page:

Page 4
(Think
Globally, Act
Locally)

Have you:

Rate your
confidence in using
this skill (5=high,
1=low).

Used different ways to come up


with creative new ideas?

Please have your


teacher/mentor fill
out this section:

Student Guide | 23

Classrooms with a Cause

Communication

Write and
See page:
speak
about the
students
project
Page 11
to other
(Contacting
students,
Issue
Experts)
the
community
, social

Page 15-16
and
(Social Media:
traditional Tips and Tricks?)
media,
and public
officials.

Page 18
(Presentation
Template)

Have you:

Rate your
confidence in using
this skill (5=high,
1=low).

Please have your


teacher/mentor fill
out this section:

Listened to others and found


chances to learn while having a
positive attitude?

Communicated for many


different ways including asking
questions, sharing ideas, giving
instructions, giving praise, and
motivating others?

2
5

Communicated thoughts and


ideas in a way that everyone can
understand through different
ways of communicating such as
speaking and writing?

2
5

Collaboration

Promote
effective
teamwork,
shared
responsibil
ity,
flexibility,

See page:

Have you:

Page 13
(Project
Work Plan)

Understood the importance of


everyone having shared

Rate your
confidence in using
this skill (5=high,
1=low).

Please have your


teacher/mentor fill
out this section:

3
5

5
Student Guide | 24

Classrooms with a Cause

and
valuing
the work
of others.

responsibility and working together?

Page 14
(Gathering
Resources)

Worked well with others and


been respectful to group members
that had different ideas?

Page 17
(Now You Are
Ready!)

Taken responsibility and let


others take their own responsibilities
as well?

3
5

2
5

Student Guide | 25