CyberFair Project ID: 5558

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Local Leaders
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: Upper Greenwood Lake School
    Hewitt, New Jersey, United States of America

47 students, ages 11-13 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 5, 2009. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2009

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Archer, Media Specialist; Mrs. Morris' and Mrs. Turner's 6th grade classes

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

West Milford is a suburban town in New Jersey. It is the 'Heart of the Highlands' region and it's surrounded by beautiful lakes, woodlands, and mountains. Families enjoy spending time together doing outdoor activities. West Milford is a close-knit, family-oriented community. There are many family-run businesses, stores, restaurants, and delis. Many festivals and fairs, such as the annual Autumn Lights Festival are planned to bring families in the community together. The West Milford School district has six elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school that serve 4,500 students. Our school, Upper Greenwood Lake School has 348 students in grades K-6. Our school community is like a family. Our teachers and parents work very closely to provide exciting learning activities for the students. We have many special assemblies, clubs, and programs in which we can participate and learn new things. We have a strong character education program at our school. Each month, we learn about a positive character quality such as sportsmanship, friendship, and kindness) and we partcipate in activities that help us build those character qualities in ourselves. We are currently helping the world community by participating in Pennies for Peace. We are collecting pennies to donate to poor children and help build schools. Every student, teacher, staff member, and parent work together to make Upper Greenwood Lake School a special place.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our Media Specialist, Mrs. Archer wanted to help us learn beyond our school walls and get actively involved and aware of the bigger world. So, she entered us in the CyberFair Project. We invited six local leaders to Upper Greenwood Lake School: Laura Oakes, our Technology Facilitator; Bernice Colefield, our Superintendent of Schools; Police Chief Paul Costello; Mayor Bettina Bieri; New Jersey Assemblyman Alex DeCroce; and Rocky Hazelman, President of the West Milford Chamber of Commerce. We were curious to know how and why these people chose their job and their job responsibilities. We also wanted to know what character qualities they have that make them good at their jobs and strong leaders. We prepared interview questions to find out about their lives and work. Each leader visited our school for a 45-minute interview. Each of us had the opportunity to ask a question. After the interviews, we wrote our impressions of each leader on our wiki page and had a virtual discussion. We used our interview notes and wiki responses to create an article and acrostic poem about each leader. We drew portraits of each leader. We reflected on the qualities of the leaders that we interviewed and we developed a Ten Qualities of a Leader list. We worked together to create a webpage presentation that celebrates these local leaders and how they help our West Milford community.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:none

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

We needed to find a way for all 47 students to communicate with each other about the project during our short school day. Our wiki page was the perfect solution! Students easily posted their comments and every team member could instantly see them. The wiki was a lot more enjoyable way for students to write rather than hand-written journal entries.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Our students do not have access to Front Page or any web design program. This was easily remedied. Mrs. Archer set up PowerPoint on each of the computer workstations. Student pairs created elements of the webpage in PowerPoint. It was easy for students to use PowerPoint to create headlines, backgrounds, and clip art for their webpage. Then, our Technology Facilitator, Laura Oakes uploaded our PowerPoint presentation into Front Page.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

YES! 47 students CAN work together peacefully to create one fantastic project. We UNITED as a community of learners. We each had our special job to do. We each contributed our own talents and strengths to our project. We TAUGHT each other and we directed our own learning. We reached out to the community and invited them to teach us. This one step makes us feel more connected to and involved in our community.

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

We developed many valuable skills by working on the CyberFair Project. We learned how to formulate solid questions and we honed our public speaking skills during our interviews with the Local Leaders. We sharpened our listening skills and attention to details. We organized our project and followed each step until its completion. We reflected upon information, made meaningful connections to it, and synthesized it. We honed our technology skills and we were able to create an effective, interesting presentation. We learned about real, living people and their contributions to our community. We learned what their responsibilities are and what skills and qualities they need to do their jobs. Most importantly, we learned how to work together as a team. We drew on each team member's strengths to do different elements of the project. We respectfully exchanged ideas and gave feedback to each other.

Project Elements

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

We used basic tools for our CyberFair Project. We researched our Local Leaders by conducting in-person interviews. During the interviews, several students took notes (the old-fashioned way). The wiki page on the Internet was great. We all shared our ideas and every person's response could be 'heard.' We created our presentation in PowerPoint on the computer. Mrs. Archer provided How-To sheets with step-by-step directions for us to follow. It was fun using Word Art and creating colorful backgrounds and fonts. It was very easy to use. The next time that we do a CyberFair Project, it would be helpful to audiotape or videotape the interviews. That way, we can review them.

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

First, we brainstormed a list of Local Leaders that we would be interested in interviewing. We narrowed it down to six people: three men and three women. Mrs. Archer, our Media Specialist helped us get the contact information. We composed a letter describing the CyberFair Project and inviting each person to participate. Mrs. Archer emailed our letters. Each leader gave a quick 'YES!' to our invitations. They were very eager and honored to participate in our CyberFair project. We are ambassadors for our school and community. We reached out beyond our school walls and gave Local Leaders an opportunity to share their lives and work. They seemed to really enjoy talking with us and passing down their knowledge. Now, through our CyberFair Project we can let our whole community and the worldwide community know what a wonderful job these people are doing.

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

Our CyberFair Project teaches people in the community about people who help them every day. We learned who our leaders are and we realized the great contributions that they make. Their efforts are sure to inspire others to get involved and help our community. For example, our Mayor works two jobs and she still makes time to volunteer at the animal shelter 20 hours every week. We hope that our project will help others realize what we realize: These local leaders are dedicated individuals who help others. We should look up to these admirable people and follow their good examples. It was great to meet and talk with our local leaders. It helped us think about what we would like to do when we grow up. It helped us think about how we, as students, can help our community become a better place. Our teachers, the Local Leaders, and our fellow students are all very excited about our CyberFair Project. We even had an article written about it in the local newspaper, The West Milford Messenger. Hopefully, this will encourage other students to explore the CyberFair Project.

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

Mrs. Archer and the 6th grade students of Upper Greenwood Lake School would like to give BIG THANK YOUs to those who helped make our CyberFair Project a success. We truly appreciate your help.

Thank you to the Local Leaders who took the time to visit our school and shared their experiences with us. Mayor Bettina Bieri Mrs. Bernice Colefield, Superintendent of Schools Police Chief Paul Costello Assemblyman Alex DeCroce Mr. Rocky Hazelman, President of West Milford Chamber of Commerce Mrs. Laura Oakes, Technology Facilitator

Extra special thanks to Mrs. Laura Oakes, our Technology Facilitator who did such an extraordinary job of putting our presentation on the webpage.

Thanks to our 6th grade teachers, Mrs. Morris and Mrs. Turner for supporting this project. You are teacher-leaders!

Thank you to Chris Burlum for her excellent, half-page article on our CyberFair Project in The West Milford Messenger.

Thanks to our Principal, Ms. Barnhill for supporting our project ideas and making Upper Greenwood Lake School so welcoming.

Mrs. Archer thanks all the wonderful 6th graders for their enthusiasm and hard work on this project. Thank you for giving me your very best. You were so respectful when our local leaders visited and you represented our school very well. I'm so proud of you all!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We discovered that we take a lot of people for granted. Our Local Leaders are working so hard for us, but they rarely get our thanks. We would like to dedicate our project to the Local Leaders for making a positive difference in our community. We realize how dedicated and hardworking they truly are. They have strong characters that we can look up to. They think of what's best for the community and they generously give their time and effort. We were inspired by these Local Leaders. We hope that we can follow their lead and make a positive difference in our community. Someday in the future or soon, perhaps we will become local leaders in our own right.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5558)

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