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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Sponsored by Cardinals Care & Learn and Serve Missouri, in cooperation with CHARACTERplus, the Champions for Character program, for nine years, has honored three Missouri or Illinois K-12 schools- public or private- that have a school-wide ethos of service learning. The school’s service learning must be infused in the curriculum and school life.

St Louis Cardinals

Three schools from Missouri are the recipients of the 2013 Champions for Character. Congratulations to:

Bowles Elementary, Rockwood School District
DeSoto Jr. High, DeSoto School District
Smith-Cotton Jr. High, Sedalia 200 School District

At Bowles Elementary, service learning has created a sense of community, pride, awareness, and empathy in their students. They started out the year with a student-led assembly with a focus of helping people, animals, and the environment. Some of the projects students initiated included: Peace Ball, Senior Dog Project, Community Heroes Day, One Sight Eye Glasses collection, and Bowles Clean Up. Service learning projects are integrated into buddy activities, home-school connections, school-wide activities and class meetings.

Desoto Jr.High students have had the opportunity to connect what they learn in the classroom to real life. Service learning has fostered respect, sincerity and compassion in the students and has contributed to a positive school culture. Students have led and facilitated Special Olympics, school-wide recycling and beautification and organized activities to send words of thanks to community partners, veterans, support staff, police and firefighters. Service Learning has engaged the students to make a difference in their community and in the world.

Smith-Cotton Junior High School is able to meet a variety of community needs through their service learning projects. Every student is involved in one or more of the many projects going on throughout the year. Projects range from helping homeless children in Haiti, to initiating a school-wide bully prevention program. Students at Smith-Cotton have learned that taking initiative and ownership in their work is important when it comes to making a difference.

These three schools have embraced service learning will be recognized during a special pre-game on-field ceremony before the May 14, 2013 St. Louis Cardinals game (versus the Mets). The Cardinals donated tickets so students and staff members can attend the game. Each school’s name will be also featured on the big screen at Busch Stadium. To see images from past games, visit the CHARACTERplus Facebook page. In addition to the winning schools, the following received honorable mention:

• Northview High School, Special School District
• Saeger Middle School, Francis Howell School District
• Meramec Heights Elementary, Fox School District

To learn more about the  program, contact Tami Bopp, Champions for Character Coordinator for CHARACTERplus.

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