CyberFair Project ID: 6488

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Building Hope 4 a Better Future
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: St. Paul Lutheran School
    Farmington, Missouri, United States

15 students, ages 13-14 years old worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2011. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Classes and Teachers: Teacher Leanna Johnson and Eighth Grade Class

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community of St. Francois County is approximately sixty miles south of St. Louis. We are located in the Mineral Area region of the state of Missouri. Our city of Farmington has a population of around 15,000 people, and our county has a population of about 63,214 people as of July, 2008. Our school, St. Paul Lutheran School, has 247 students in pre-school through 8th grade.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our class had became aware of the less fortunate in our community, and we decided to base our project around it. Recently with the bad economy it has been very difficult for some people to support themselves and their families. We felt that it was necessary to find a way to decrease the rising poverty level in our area.

Our first task was figuring out what exactly we planned to do for this project. We came to a conclusion that we needed to have the biggest impact on our community possible by not only raising awareness but also physically helping. We had to face the time-consuming task of creating an original title for our project. After a lot of brainstorming and debating we agreed on “Building Hope 4 a Better Future.”

We concluded that we needed to participate in fundraisers or find ways to help local causes, so we began researching non-profit organizations in our area. As a class we raised and donated over $500 for a family of four in need during the Christmas season through the St. Francois County Community partnership Season of Hope activity. Our entire school supported over ten families. Without this those families might not have been able to enjoy the Christmas season. We hoped to show the children what the true holiday season is all about. We volunteered at a Help the Hungry Bake Sale, toured our community's no-kill shelter, The Farmington Pet Adoption Center, to raise animal welfare awareness, and interviewed workers at Red Cross to learn more about what they do locally and internationally. During this journey we met and interviewed Al Sullivan, the executive director of Season of Hope, and Jayne Wibbels, the former director of the Farmington Pet Adoption Center. In a short time we have learned how to help people and truly make a difference in our 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: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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Beginning this project we knew that we were going to have a lot of work to do. We have been very lucky and haven't exactly faced too many barriers, until the last month or so. First, our Red Cross trip was nullified when we found out they wanted an email interview instead of us visiting them. We have had a lot of snow days, which have narrowed our time we had to work on and finish the project. No one in our class knew how to make a Google Site and work with web page coding before this year. We relied on our teachers for field trips and are grateful for that. We are glad that we could have still made all our field trips even with the weather. One of our team members worked very hard on making a VoiceThread. He was forced to be patient while gathering all the permission slips of the parents from the children that were part of the thread. We were forced to collaborate with each other in deciding about our team's logos, project title, and building the website. We all had to learn organization skills in order to keep all of the elements of our project organized. As the deadline approached, we had to find more time to be able to work so some of us had to spend time outside of school working on the website.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

These experiences we have been through together have both affected our community in many ways and have inspired all of our team to build hope for a better future. We realized in these experiences that, whether we make a big or small impact, it can go a long way in both our hearts and our community.

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

Most standards of the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education; NETS-S (National Educational Technology Standards for Students; standards are met by this CyberFair project. We also follow guidelines as presented by iNACOL standards for learning (International Association for K-12 Online Learning; Research and collaboration online allowed us to apply our digital skills. We will be better prepared for the future by securing these standards as daily classroom practices.

We learned that practicing safe and responsible digital citizenship such as procuring parental permission to use student work, images, and photos is important. Applying that same responsibility, we created our own images almost entirely to better understand property ownership.

Using Web 2.0 tools (Google Sites, VoiceThread) made it possible for the teacher to watch the work develop and make comments asynchronously. This made working within the time frame much more flexible because we could work outside traditional classroom hours.

Project Elements

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

We used twenty seven computers, cell phones, J98 radio station, cameras, Flip video recorder, The Daily Journal newspaper, OpenOffice Writer, VoiceThread, Google, Google Sites, Movie Maker, Picasa, Anime Studio Debut (animation), Jamendo (free music), Fotoflexer, Notepad, SchoolTube, YouTube, Moodle, Wordle, and Jing (screen capture).

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

We called and e-mailed several people. We had an e-mail interview with the Red Cross in St. Louis and learned how they operate to help others in the community. To be able to go to the Pet Adoption Center we had to call and set up an interview tour with Jayne Wibbels. She was very gracious and let us come and take a tour of the Adoption Center. For Season of Hope we had to contact Executive Director Al Sullivan. He came to our school for an interview and educated us about the organization where he works. Six of our classmates went on our local radio station, J98 the Boot, to talk on-air about our project. One of our team members had to contact parents and send home permission slips to get authorized parental permission to be part of our Season of Hope Voice Thread.. Also, by contacting the people working at the Help the Hungry Bake Sale, we were able to volunteer to work the sale. We have learned many public relation and communication skills while being ambassadors for our project.

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

As a class of fifteen eighth graders, we did our absolute best to have an extraordinary impact on our community. One of the biggest impacts we had on our community was being a part of Season of Hope. This year our class raised and donated over $500 for four families that couldn't afford the Christmas they wanted to give each other.Through the Season of Hope activity we supported them and purchased presents for them that really lifted their spirits. We hoped that it would really bring attention to how important it is to help people and how lucky some are to have a good Christmas with their family. We were lucky enough to be able to interview workers and volunteers of local organizations. We also volunteered at one of our local Help the Hungry Bake Sales. We spent several hours of our Friday evening setting up and pricing items for the sale. Then on that Saturday we spent the entire day actually working the bake sale. We worked as hosts for this event, and we learned how to cooperate and work with all different age groups in our community. The bake sale ended up raising an amount of over $21,400! By just being able to put a smile on people's faces is quite enough! Through our research, interviews, and deeds we believe and hope that we truly had an exceptional impact on our community.

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

We had some amazing people strongly supporting us this year. Our project depended on the information and research we gathered from various workers and volunteers throughout our community and everyone who trusted us to help the issued in our community. We really want to thank all the people, groups, and organizations that allowed us to interview them. We'd also like to thank all of the people who gave their time to help us including Jayne Wibbels from the Pet Adoption Center, Al Sullivan from Season of Hope, all the people at Help the Hungry Bake Sale, and the Red Cross. Our project wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for every single one of them. Our class would like to thank our teacher, Mrs. Johnson, who has guided, transported, and supported us. We're now not afraid to step out of our comfort zone and help those who need it. The local radio station and newspapers helped us promote our project, and we are very grateful for that. Last, we would like to thank our entire community for believing in us. Without participation and cooperation of the local citizens we wouldn't have been able to have the impact that we did.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We have discovered that sometimes working with a small group can actually be easier. We are one of the bigger classes from our school that has been a part of CyberFair. Sometimes it can be a difficult task to keep everybody focused and working at the same time. Although it wasn't easy, we overcame and got the job done without a lot of arguing. Through this project we have experienced what it is like to be at a job. We all had different jobs to do and a deadline to make for the final product. Communication, collaboration, and cooperation are three huge keys in getting the project done. We've discovered that we can make a difference in such a short time. We learned that even though we are young kids, we can have just as much as an impact as anyone else. Getting the opportunity to help people that need our help is something that we will all never forget. It will make us better citizens of our community in the future. There was a spark like emotion that poured out of each and every one of our team members when we realized how hard we pushed ourselves to achieve the goal in building hope for a better future. We are just very glad to be able to be a part of St. Paul Lutheran school where all the students, parents, and faculty do such a great job helping in whatever way they possibly can.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6488)

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