Students with disabilities at a Pennsylvania high school are learning job and social skills by operating a coffee shop in the school library. Sales have been averaging $150 a day since opening in November.
Nearly 300 eighth-graders from Mars Middle School in Pennsylvania recently worked together in social studies and language arts classes to research and recommend prominent African-American figures for a Mount Rushmore-like monument. Some students built monument models to include their nominees' faces for the project, which observes the 2015 opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. "You can tell that they put [in] a lot of time out of the classroom. The students were highly engaged," said social studies teacher Jason Thompson.
As part of his push to implement project-based learning, Pennsylvania high-school principal Ken Lockette has launched a program in which between 30 and 50 students will partner with professional artists at five local institutions. With the help of grant funding, the students will work in teams to learn more about the art world and blog about the experience. "It's about applying things in the real world, not just doing classroom presentations," Lockette said.
The Neighborhood Learning Alliance this summer trained 30 teenagers to work as "Reading Warriors" who tutor and mentor young children in various programs throughout the city. The Pittsburgh-based nonprofit selected the teenagers based on interviews coordinated through their schools. "Our kids want to break stereotypes and show the community that they can be forces for good," said Amy Baumgardner, a co-director of the alliance.
A charter school designed to educate students in grades 2 through 8 who have dyslexia is being proposed in North Hills, Pa. If approved, the Provident Charter School would open in September 2013, becoming the first school in the region dedicated to educating children with the disorder. The school would feature extended instructional time and a curriculum based on the Orton-Gillingham method, in which students are taught in small groups using visual and auditory strategies.