Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More on Service Learning

Contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia

Service learning often gets confused with community service so let’s define it further. Service Learning is a multi-step process; students will have the opportunities to engage in problem-solving while they are gaining knowledge of a specific topic related to their service learning project and the challenges that the community face.

Service Learning should be cooperative not competitive. We, as teachers, should promote the use of their teamwork and citizenship skills. The students will have more immediate results which will promote deeper learning. There will be no “right” answers and everyone will feel success from this type of project.

Furthermore, service learning is a way for students to take the knowledge they learn from the textbook and apply it to the needs of the community. Service learning is a great way to build bridges between students and their local community.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Service Learning or Community Service: What is the difference?

Contributed by Brenda Wuebker, National Consultant Team, Ohio

Service Learning and Community Service are very important to our communities but what is the difference?

Community service is typically a service project that is completed one time.  It usually doesn’t involve learning objectives.  On the other hand, Service Learning is a culminating project.  The project lasts for at least 1 full semester or even an entire school year.  It has specific learning objects and usually involves core academic learning.  In addition, it requires the student to reflect throughout the project so continuous learning evolves. 
Service Learning has become part of today’s education because of its comprehensive learning.  In order for it to be true Service Learning it must contain the following stages:

1. Investigation
2. Preparation and Planning
3. Action
4. Reflection
5. Demonstration/Celebration

Not only are these projects important to our communities they are important to our students.  Students want to address and solve real life problems involving our communities but too often they lack the opportunities to participate.  As Family and Consumer Science teachers and FCCLA advisers we can provide those opportunities for our students through service learning by participating in FCCLA National Programs.  Together we can make a difference.

Legislative Alert! House Slashes CTE Funding

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee released an appropriations bill, H.R. 1., for the 2011 fiscal year.  The legislation completely eliminates funding for the Perkins Tech Prep program for the 2011-2012 school year, an 8 percent reduction in overall Perkins funds, and makes drastic cuts across other education and workforce development programs. This bill is separate from the president's budget proposal, released today for the following year, FY 2012, which suggests even deeper cuts to Perkins.

This cut will be felt in all states, regardless of whether your state has consolidated Tech Prep funding with Basic State Grants. In short, this bill slashes funding across many education and labor programs and poses the most serious threat to our funding in years! It is extremely important that you notify as many advocates as possible - FCCLA members and advisers, ACTE members, CTSO advisers, business leaders and anyone else who will contact their Member of Congress to oppose this bill. In addition to the elimination of Tech Prep and the other cuts included in the legislation, we expect an open rule on the House floor as the bill is debated. This means that other amendments are expected to be offered with additional cuts to non-defense discretionary programs. Basic State grants, labor programs and any other discretionary program used by CTE are at risk. 

Act now and call your legislator! Visit for more information, and resources.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Celebrate FCCLA Week!

Contributed by Jessica Marlow, National Consultant Team, Oklahoma

February 7th-13th, 2011 is National FCCLA Week. National FCCLA Week gives each chapter an opportunity to showcase their organization to their school and community. Use this as a time to show off projects your students have been working on and to show the community what you’re all about!  It is your time to shine!

There are many things that your chapter can do to celebrate National FCCLA Week.
  • Create a Theme for the Week or use the National Theme “To Be Continued…”
  • Have a small activity planned for each day for the members to participate in.
    • Community Service Project After School
    • Donuts and Juice with Teachers
    • Wear your FCCLA T-shirt Day
    • Pizza for lunch for all members
  • Utilize the Proclamation from the National FCCLA Website and have your Mayor or Elected Official proclaim National FCCLA Week in your town.
  • Make Bulletin Boards to highlight your members.
  • Have members set up an information booth during lunch to give students more information about your organization.
  • Get your local newspaper involved to highlight all of your activities.
The activities do not have to be extravagant or cost a lot of money. This is a special week to celebrate your members and their accomplishments and to show everyone how great FCCLA is in your school and community!

After FCCLA week is over, don’t forget to share your pictures and activities with Teen Times,

Have fun celebrating with your members and HAPPY FCCLA WEEK!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Working with Community Leaders

By:  Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

Many times, community leaders are the forgotten component of the stakeholders of our organization and classroom.  However, when thinking about the needs of our chapters, community members can be a valuable asset for both ideas and finances.  Many times our community and business leaders will be willing to help the school but are unsure of how to do so.  Here are a few ideas on how to connect with and approach community members.
  • Know what you want.  If you have an end goal in mind, it will be more clear to community leaders how they can help.  It also makes your chapter look more organized and responsible.
  • Make it applicable.  After you know what you want, connect those needs to specific community leaders.  By making it applicable to a specific group they would be more willing to assist.  For example, if you have a student completing an Entrepreneurship STAR Event, connect them with your local Chamber of Commerce.  Since the entire purpose of a Chamber of Commerce is to support local business and community growth, assisting a youth with business development skills only makes sense for them.
  • Invite them to be on your Advisory Board.  Rather than just asking every time you need money, get community members involved with sharing ideas.  If the leaders of your community can contribute ideas to your chapter and department you can have a better, more complete, picture of what you and your students need.  And, you never know what resources they may have as well.  For example, banks get rid of old computers relatively often.  For the price of a new hard drive or memory chip, you can get a gently used system for a fraction of the cost.