CyberFair Project ID: 1811

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: A Caring Community
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Georgetown Central School
    Georgetown, Maine, United States

30 students, ages from 5 to 8 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 28, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998, 1999, 2001

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Saufler's Kindergarten and Mrs. Morissette's Second Graders

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is located on the southern coast of Maine. Georgetown, a small island village has a winter population of 1,000 people that grows to 3,000 people in the summer months. Our rocky coasts, pristine beaches, fabulous tide pools, and breathtaking sunrises capture the hearts of all who live in and visit our community. The “locals” (as the permanent population is referred to) are a close-knit group of people who care about and support each other. Professionals, non-professionals, fishermen, artists, and retirees make up the “local” population. This wonderful diversity of young and old reflects the caring theme throughout our community. As you read the Web pages describing the volunteers’ many contributions, you will feel the support that is given for all involved in this community. Caring is something that is done without the blink of an eye. When one of our local ninety year old historians broke several bones, a few telephone calls were made and within 24 hours a volunteer schedule was in place. Volunteers were provided to take her to breakfast, help her with daily routines, keep her company, provide lunch and dinner for her and be sure her mail and bills were taken care of. Georgetown, Maine is a warm, nurturing community with caring people of all ages.

2. Summary of Our Project

“Care and Unite, not Share and Unite”... these were the first words the students heard when CyberFair 2002 was introduced to them. With “Care and Unite” in mind, the students generated a list of the many people in our community who show they care. The students quickly learned about the hundreds of caring volunteers in our town. People cooperating at a job to contribute to our town (fisherman’s co-op), others volunteering hours of work to clean up our roads and coasts (Coastal Clean-up and Adopt - a - Road), still other people who created homemade crafts only to turn around and sell them and donate the money back to our community (the Quilters of Georgetown and the Working League). Because a few people cared enough, the once vacant and dilapidating Community Center is now a volunteer run place that every child and adult can enjoy. The endless work of the caring volunteers of the ambulance crew gives each child a feeling of security in our fine community. After learning about these wonderful volunteers, the children decided that they could help each group they interviewed. They formed volunteer groups to help elderly citizens, clean the coast and roads, protect the turtles, and make crafts for the summer fair; donating the money to needy causes. The plans of the students and their new adult friends are to continue to add to their volunteer adventures to the Web pages they have created for CyberFair. This is a wonderful way to share the caring efforts of our school and town with the world. By creating programs to work with the adults in our community, we hope to impact the global Internet community. We hope our Web pages will encourage children around the world to see the importance of working together to form a caring community.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had a few problems to overcome. Due to the unpredictable Maine weather and intermittent snows and ice storms, power outages were a problem. School was canceled three days due to the power outages. In addition, our server crashed many times. These obstacles were overcome with support, laughter, and smiles. Our computer specialist gave us additional hours to work at the computer lab, the librarian graciously contributed time, and our principal gave us high priority so we could work, work, work. Every staff member asked if they could help in any way so that we could get our CyberFair project up and running. We have a staff that not only cares, but united to help us.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

CyberFair 2002 has once again united our students, our school, and our community. Care and Unite has taught the students the meaning of volunteering to help others. Because of our participation, young and old have formed volunteer groups to care for people in our community and make our environment a better place to live.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

The activities and research for this International Schools CyberFair Project supported curriculum standards and required course work for the students involved. The Maine Learning Results is our state book of guiding principles and standards. The following Guiding Principles that each Maine student must leave school having were addressed in this project: I. A CLEAR AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR, II. A SELF-DIRECTED AND LIFE-LONG LEARNER, IV. A RESPONSIBLE AND INVOLVED CITIZEN. V. A COLLABORATIVE AND QUALITY WORKER, and VI. AN INTEGRATIVE AND INFORMED THINKER. The standards that were addressed in this project were: English/Language Arts, Science and Technology, and Social Studies. Our project included specific objectives from both the kindergarten and second grade curriculums. The Human Interaction with Environments strand, Skills and Tools strand, and Personal and Consumer Economics strand in social studies were covered. The Life Around Us strand, the Earth We Live On strand, and the Living Things strand were covered in science. The Language Arts standard was covered through The Six Traits of Writing, spelling, and reading as the students wrote their Web pages. New skills in technology were learned. Working together, the kindergarten and second grade students learned how to create Web pages that included animations, digital images and links. The kindergarten and second grade students worked cooperatively with community members to gather information so they could create their Web pages. Once again we have found that the role our school plays in our community is one of great importance. The support and enthusiasm given to our school and every student and staff member from the community members is evident. Using the Internet for teaching and learning has been as effective as traditional methods. Because of this project, we feel strongly that our students have; through another method of teaching met their required curricula and standards.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used a variety of information tools and technologies to complete our CyberFair project. Our computer lab is equipped with 19 Apple computers and each classroom has one computer, all linked to the Internet. Claris Home Page, Kid Pix Studio, Claris Works, Adobe Photo Deluxe, and GifBuilder was the computer software used to complete our project. Using telephones, the students contacted community members and invited them to our classrooms. Next, the students conducted oral interviews and recorded notes to create their Web pages. During the interviews, students took pictures of our guests with a digital camera. These photographs are seen on the Web pages. The tools we used are a part of our school technology equipment. They were helpful because they gave the students a new and varied way to report their findings. Kid Pix Studio was a very valuable tool. The students were able to express their knowledge through art and color. The teachers were amazed to see kindergarten and second grade students navigate a computer and create Web pages. The new information tools and technologies used will be a continuing part of teaching and learning for the students and teachers involved.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

The kindergarten and second grade students have become excellent "ambassadors " from Georgetown Central School because of this project. After brainstorming a list of volunteer community members who care, we telephoned community members, set up conference times, and welcomed our visitors to our classrooms. Using interview questions, we gathered important information about the community members. Those interviewed were very cooperative and excited to see the "young people" of the community taking an interest in the volunteer programs available in our community. They were very impressed with the fact that we would be creating Web pages about the volunteers of this area to share with the world. They were very pleased that the children were willing to learn about their volunteer work in our community. They were extremely impressed with the fact that the children want to form volunteer groups to help our town. The students presented their project to our school board. The members of the board were impressed with the project and the dedication each child showed. School board members asked many questions and the students were able to answer with ease. The local newsletter - The Georgetown Tide ran an article about the project. The town is very proud. Everyone asks about it when we see them on the streets. We were invited to join a lobsterman pull his traps from his boat because of this project. The students are ready to design a lobster buoy of their own to take on the boat. We are very proud of our little ambassadors, they have done a fine job representing Georgetown Central School.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The CyberFair project has had a positive impact on our community. The people of our community are very willing to become involved with our school. Once again, CyberFair has offered these people the opportunity to work with our students. Our presentation is unique because it involves volunteers. Many of the people involved are retired and would have no other connection with the school if it were not for this project uniting them. People in our community have learned new things about our community. E-mails commenting on the pages and the new information they have learned come in daily. The world will know how unique and generous our community is by reading the Web pages the students have created. New working relationships have been established with the community members due to this project. Volunteer groups, being a stern man for a day on a lobster boat, and creating a quilt are a few of the projects the students will be doing with their new community friends. Our Web pages are viewed by parents, staff members, school board members, and people from all over the world because it is posted on the Georgetown Central School Home page. We receive positive feedback through e-mails, parent comments and notes, and conversations. Our Web site has helped those who visit it, by sharing the unique traits of this little island town. CyberFair has become a school-wide project. Staff members, parent volunteers, and community members offer their help in our classrooms as the deadline for CyberFair draws near.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

This project would not be possible without the help of the community members. Our community’s volunteers were very enthused and open to our invitations! They came into our classrooms, they helped us with information that has helped create these great Web pages, and they will continue to help us with our newly formed volunteer groups. Many of the people were thrilled that kindergarten and second grade students took such a big interest in our town. Every person we contacted to come to our classroom and speak came with enthusiasm and pride. It has been a wonderful time for our community and our school to “care and unite”. After generating a huge list of volunteer community members, we narrowed it down to seven. We contacted each member and they gladly accepted our invitation to come in and talk to the students about how they care about our community through volunteerism. Mr. Sam Crosby from the Fisherman’s Co-op, Ms. Betty Cole from Coastal Clean Up and Adopt-a-Road, Mrs. Elaine Holt from the Quilters of Georgetown, Mrs. Emily Herman from the Georgetown Working League, Mrs. Rosemary Hentz from the Georgetown Ambulance Crew, and Mrs. Lisa Donovan from the Georgetown Community Center are the volunteers the students interviewed. We cannot thank them enough for their enthusiastic presentations and time. Because of them we will be volunteering in small groups to help show our community how much we care. Thank you! You can see pictures of our helpers here:

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We learned about a variety of volunteer projects that have been going on for years in our community. It was surprising to us because these groups give without expecting any recognition. The life-long lessons each student learned, will be a part of them forever. Specifically we learned that people can work together toward a common goal of working less, we discovered that seaweed is nurseries for baby shell fish and we need to keep it clean, we learned that businesses in our town clean the roads, we also learned that the tremendous amount of money raised from the quilt raffle is given away to others, we found that it takes many volunteers to run the Community Center, we were surprised to find that the ambulance crew gives in more ways than just transporting sick people to the hospital, and we learned that several women meet weekly to think of ways to contribute to our town. This entire experience has been one discovery, lesson, and surprise after another!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1811)

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