Spring Harbor Middle School T.E.A.M. Service Learning Trip to Pine Ridge

The Problem

Pine Ridge Reservation is the poorest place in the nation. About 33% of houses lack indoor plumbing and running water. Approximately 39% of houses lack electric service. Many homes are trailer homes or tribal-controlled housing that are often decades old. The per capita income is only $4000. The drop out rate of high school is 70%. The unemployment rate is 80-90%. Around 17 people live in house with only 2 or 3 rooms. About 59% of the reservation homes are substandard, which means they have housing conditions that cause significant illnesses, injuries, and deaths.

Plan of Action

Spring Harbor Team (Together Everyone Achieves More) is a community service group for 7th and 8th graders. Some of us 8th graders are going over to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to help out the less fortunate July 20th-26th, 2013. Pine Ridge is one of the poorest locations in the country. While we're there, we are going to work on repairing houses, helping out in the community, and we will learn about another culture from them and not from the stereotypes. We will also make a video while we're on Pine Ridge Reservation. The video will highlight the struggles and the living conditions of Pine Ridge to raise awareness because most people don't realize how hard life is there. We will also highlight their culture and strengths, and the fun times they have like celebrations and sports. We will share the video with our school and other schools in our district to open their eyes. We will enter it into youth video contests and may share it on YouTube if our parents say it's okay. We will also try to share it on the local news. We will keep journals and we might read or share them to other people. I write Spoken Word. I will write a lot of poems while I am there and share them in multiple slams and open mics.

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