Helping 100 will prepare information for the iCare conference that includes hunger, homelessness, caring, leadership and initiative. At NCS, they will lead 140 7th-grade students from local school districts through team building exercises and a workshop on the basic elements of service learning. Participants will learn how to develop clubs and projects in their own schools that focus on hunger, thus growing our venture. Participants become ambassadors and educate their own schools in hunger and homeless issues. They will also help plan iCare Toiletry drive for the homeless and the “One Night without a Home” Awareness Sleep out to be held on April 24, 2009. In the toiletry drive, we will collect hygiene items outside of supermarkets (shampoo, condition, combs, soap, wash cloth, band-aids, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, etc.) and put these items in 100 "iCare" backpacks, which we will deliver to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission on 4/26/09.
Our events help our peers and community realize the difficulties that homeless persons face daily. The “One Night Without a Home” is an opportunity for people to spend a night outside to discuss and learn about homelessness. While one night outside cannot simulate homelessness, this awareness-raising activity promotes advocacy, protest, and education. The Faces Panels at each event will provide an opportunity for discussion between homeless or formerly homeless persons and students learning about these issues, which impacts on spreading awareness and increase participation in fundraising for immediate relief. Furthermore, once we run through the event, we will put videos and footage on our website and share resources with other school districts around the world to concurrently host the same event next year through a web platform.
PREPARATION: Beginning in January, students from Helping will begin preparing for the iCare Student Service Learning Conference for students in grades 8-12 from four school districts. To prepare for this conference, Helping 100 students will conduct research about current hunger and homelessness issues. They will research and contact experts in these fields, which include politicians, volunteers at shelters such as the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, directors of organizations such as National Coalition for the Homeless, Bread for the World, Habitat for Humanity and National Alliance to End Homelessness. These experts will be asked to speak at to speak at the iCare Student Conference and the “One Night Without a Home: Awareness Sleep Out.” Students also will create a Faces Panel for the(se) events. The Faces Panel will provide an opportunity for discussion between homeless or formerly homeless persons and students learning about these issues. Helping 100 student members will Helping 100 members prepare other information for the conference that includes information about caring, leadership and initiative using a book called The Dog Poop Initiative (http://dogpoopinitiative.com/) and the discussion guide, Tiger Woods Start Something Curriculum, Community of Caring Core Values and other resources. They will lead students through team building exercises and a workshop on the basic elements of service learning (that they learned through their club experiences and Tiger Wood’s Start Something Curriculum). Helping 100 members will create pre and post test on world hunger and homelessness issues. They will initiate awareness with a brief “kick-off” video about hunger and homelessness and information about the iCare conference, putting this information on Channel 2, their website – www.helping100.com, district websites, in the media, posters and distributed flyers. Students will meet with each school district’s Administration and Board of Education to explain criteria of student participants and project goals and objectives. The conference is designed for students from each school to learn and develop service-learning skills through workshops led by Helping 100 and experts. These students will learn how to develop an iCare Toiletry drive in their school. Conference participants will become the ambassadors of service learning and educate their own schools in hunger and homeless issues. They will also help plan the “One Night without a Home” Awareness Sleep out to be held on April 24, 2009. We anticipate 30 youth (and a handful of adults from the school and outside community) to attend the iCare Youth Leadership Conference. Youth “Ambassadors” will share action plans from this conference with their school district’s Administration, teachers and students, solidify service project logistics, and launch iCare toiletry drive and promote the upcoming GYSD, April 24, 2009 “One Night without a Home” Awareness Sleep out.
ACTION: On February 4, 2009, Helping 100 will hold its iCare Service Learning Conference for students in grades 8-12. In March, youth will plan and run an iCare Toiletry drive and compile backpacks filled with toiletry items and other healthcare items to be distributed to the Homeless at the AC Rescue Mission during GYSD April 24-26, 2009. On GYSD, April 24, 2009, Helping 100 students and the Ambassadors from the conference will hold its “One Night Without a Home” Awareness Sleep Out. Location(s) will be determined by youth. Youth committees will be responsible to contact community partners, media, municipal officials, experts, shelter and faces panel to obtain necessary permission and assistance.
REFLECTION: We plan to have 3 formal reflections throughout the project timeline February, March, and April). Participants will reflect on our efforts, and determine how these volunteer efforts changed our beliefs, leadership qualities, time management skills and ability to set goals and carry out these goals. Students will assess their experiences and roles. After the Sleep out and awareness service, we will have the youth committee leaders allow time for participants to share their thoughts and concerns. Finally, after our celebration activity, youth leaders will share what volunteers have learned, what they liked and didn’t like, how they felt, and possibilities for continued action in this area or another issue of their choosing on our website.
CELEBRATION: After Friday’s Sleep out, participants (parents, students, teachers, speakers) will have a breakfast, allowing time for everyone to share their thoughts and concerns and future plans. Committee leaders will meet for final reflection and celebration the next day (April 26, 2008). They will compile backpacks, make final videos and website updates and deliver iCare backpacks filled with toiletry items to the AC Rescue Mission. We will conduct our final reflection activity where we will discuss the strengths and challenges of our project; what was learned about hunger and homelessness; what we learned about our community; and what we learned about ourselves.
While our iCare Conference does not occur until February 2009, our efforts this year were lauched with our homage to National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (November 17-November 21, 2008). During this week, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness. National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (November 17-21) is a national endeavor to promote education, action, and awareness about hunger and homelessness (http://www.nationalhomeless.org/getinvolved/projects/awareness/). Helping 100 held a fundraiser for Workout for those Without on 11/20/08 and raised $1200 in 100 minutes. We also launched out iCare Food drive (co-sponsored by Northfield Community School Student Council), which began on 11/17/08 and ends 12/21/08,which is also National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day. For this event, Helping 100 created an awareness commercial (see our website http://www.helping100.com).
Our projects will connect our student organization, national and local organizations, and other service learning groups with community partners for meaningful service activities. We will develop ongoing service relationships that facilitate quality service partnerships between students and community organizations, not just our Helping 100 team and conference ambassadors, but our student council, builder’s club, national junior honor society, national honor society and entire student body at Northfield Community School, Belhaven Middle School, Jordan Road Middle and Mainland Regional High School.