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Service Learning Project – Educational Bulletin Boards

Each year Eileen asked my students to create a bulletin board for her restaurant that would teach her customers about learning disabilities or learning strategies. After the theme was chosen, my students had to read, research, write, and discuss learning differences. When the board was completed, my students took a field trip to McDonald’s to see their display and listen to a speech by Mrs. Kushner. Thousands of people viewed our boards each year. By teaching others, my students gained insight into their own learning.

Quote from the tutor of a former student:

“Years ago I tutored a boy for his Bar Mitzvah. One day he asked if we could go to the McDonald’s because he wanted to show me something. When we got there, he proudly marched me over to a big wall where he said, “That’s me!” There was a story that he wrote about himself and how he had trouble reading. On the wall there were also famous people with disabilities. Needless to say, my student wore his disability like a badge instead of a burden. He overcame every obstacle along the way. Today he is a successful English high school teacher! I’m sure that you helped many kids accept their differences and gave them hope and inspiration.”

Service Learning Project – Fundraising Activity

Each year my students raised money to buy holiday gifts for many low income families in local towns. They wrote letters to businesses requesting donations or discounts and made holiday crafts to sell. On a Saturday they would meet at Eileen’s McDonald’s restaurant to sell candy, pens, pencils, and their homemade crafts. With their earnings they would take a field trip to Wal-Mart and purchase gloves, hats, socks, shirts, and small toys for these needy children. They also wrapped and labeled each item so parents could give them as gifts at Christmas. Our students were shocked when they learned that these gifts would probably be the only presents that those children would receive. The project helped our students realize how fortunate they were and taught them the importance of giving back to the community.

Quote from a former student:

“When I was in college I was extremely involved with a dance marathon that raised money for a children’s hospital. I want to believe that my passion for helping others and fundraising came from selling mugs and candy at McDonald’s with you.”

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