Courtesy of CVUSD
As part of a literary unit on heroism, 12th grade students from across the Chino Valley Unified School District devoted several volunteer hours in community service over the winter break. Projects varied from volunteering at food banks and homeless shelters to cleaning up trails and parking lots across the city. Students were asked to “pitch” a proposal to a panel of their peers and suggest projects that would be classified as heroic. As part of a culminating experience which emphasizes effective oral communication, students prepared and delivered five-minute speeches sharing their experiences and addressing major societal issues.
Caitlin Broad, an Ayala High senior, traveled to the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach with 40 goodie bags she prepared as thank you gifts for active duty sailors. Caitlin’s experience was especially meaningful to her as she was escorted by her father and grandfather, who are both Navy veterans.
Another Ayala senior, Diane Eckstrom, relieved her relatives in the daily care of her 94-year-old grandmother and delivered a speech on the need for loving elder care.
Priceless Pets, a pet adoption and care facility in Chino Hills, was a favorite organization of the volunteers, who exercised and cared for the animals. Ayala senior Terrance Seki walked dogs for Priceless Pets as part of his volunteer experience.
Ayala High senior Jake Sears, who cleaned up litter at Chino Hills State Park, told his classmates, “It shouldn’t be that difficult to clean up after yourself.”
Ayala students Jacob Axton and Calista Ho worked at a local food bank.
Most of the students involved in the program said they did not believe their efforts should be labeled heroic but rather just the actions of responsible citizens.
The curriculum unit writers included this project as part of the District’s implementation of Common Core State Standards to create real world experiences to develop 21st century skills. Teachers were impressed with their students’ passion towards the less fortunate and their appeals to their classmates to do the little things to show care for their community.