Sixth-graders Brett Napier and Emily Swann were winners in their division at the recent West Virginia Social Studies Fair for their project about the dangers of red dye 40. However, the students don't want to stop with state honors. They say they want to create a public-service announcement and take further steps to educate students and families about side effects associated with the dye.
Seniors from Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch, N.J., wanted to give something back to their community, which was hit by Hurricane Sandy, so they recently volunteered to pick up debris from area public beaches and assist with other beautification projects. "They are learning the value of being altruistic and giving back to the community," said Thomas Farrell, superintendent of Shore Regional and West Long Branch school districts. "This is just a start, because there is still a lot of work to be done here. But if there are students like these here to help, we're going to be OK."
In this commentary, Dorie Clark, CEO of Clark Strategic Communications, and Joel Gagne, owner of Allerton Hill Consulting, write about the need for schools to embrace Twitter, in part, because it is cost-effective, keeps parents informed and is accessible via mobile devices. "Twitter must be a priority for schools, administrators and educators -- not something to try only when you have time and it's convenient. Twitter has proven itself to be one of the most formidable communication tools at an education professional's disposal," they write.
Teachers and administrators in the League of Innovative Schools, a network of 56 schools in five northeastern states, meet regularly to share ideas to improve education and student outcomes. The group's activities are supported by state education departments and foundations, and give schools access to experts and resources.
Social studies students from Weymouth High School in Massachusetts held a mock trial of the real-life Florida case of Casey Anthony, who was accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. Weymouth Mayor Susan Kay presided as judge in the classroom project and praised students for their efforts, which ended in acquittal as did the real court case in 2011.