Full-Circle Learning students experience many opportunities over the course of a year to complete service projects infused with character education, academic and arts enrichment and conflict resolution elements. Click any project highlight below to read details and see photos.
Solar Cooker Project
A collaboration with students in Kenya to learn the value of planning ahead, personally and globally.
Students in the States, Africa and South America share letters (delivered via motorcycle) on the need to act on your convictions.
Students address world hunger as they study the habit-of-heart patience, leading to farm trips, letters to Kenya and even pumpkin pies.
Students studied the habit-of-heart farsightedness. The lesson plans were designed to help students see the value of planning ahead, whether in personal matters or in caring for a global community. The project involved working with Plan International students in Kenya to experiment with ways to increase the potable water supply. Here is one example of a project that maximized both local and international resources.
Character education activities included discussions and role plays encouraging them to think about how their choices will affect themselves and others.
- Music lessons included songs about looking ahead, which students later performed in a program they presented with environmental themes.
- A science presenter taught students about the nature of water.
- In a related service project, students studied the causes of water shortages and drought around the world. They made charts and graphs to show the importance of the critical need for clean drinking water around the world.
- They wrote speeches and took their presentation material on a field trip to a sister site across town and conducted a knowledge exchange with students at that site, sharing their speeches and presentation materials.
- They worked with the students at the sister site to make solar cookers for students across the globe, in a community with a shortage of potable water (see photo at top of page). The cookers were designed to help people in deserts or deforested regions purify their water without using firewood and thereby contributing to drought and famine. The students wrote directions on how to use the solar cookers to pasteurize water to make it suitable for drinking. The cookers were sent off to students at the site in Kenya.
- Some time later, the Childreach/Plan International project liaison wrote to say that the Kenyan students had conducted experiments with the cookers, had written essays and taken photos and would be sharing the materials with the students!
One teacher at the school in Kenya wrote in a letter: "...Thank you very much for the materials presented to our school about the solar cookers. Tha pupils did an experiment with the help of your students' instructions for three consectuive days...We appreciate this kind of exchange of materials, and with your collaboration, we can have more exchange. This has enhanced discussions and practical approach in science as a subject."
The students then wrote individual letters to their pen pals in California, describing how they practiced until they found the right techniques for bringing the water up to the 149 degrees' pasteurization point. After describing the experimentation results in detail, one boy wrote:
"...My friend, that's what we did an (sic) I am very, very happy about you. I would like to be (sic) communication with you all the time. We are happy because you send us the instrument for experiments. I shall be glad to see your letter again...."
The project had truly come full-circle, for students in America and students in Africa.
Children's Enrichment Program was invited to participate in a Plan International project called GEODYSSEO. The students will conduct collaborate projects with students at Plan sites in countries in Africa and South America. Their greetings will be delivered on motorcycle by Frederic Journoud, as he visits Senegal, Mali, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
For their first phase of the project, students wrote letters to the Senegal students-and to the students around the world-challenging them to identify and act on their own convictions. Here are excerpts of some of their letters.
My name is Mahogany. I'm in the second grade. I am seven. I am learning about acting on your convictions. This means you have a strong belief in something. My conviction is getting medicines to help fight diseases. Maybe we can write letters to doctors around the world asking them to donate medicine to places that don't have them. Do you have any ideas?
Dear friend Mohagany,
Our convictions are to struggle against diseases and to have enough drugs for people suffering from any kind of disease. We also have to do a lot of sensitization to promote individual and collective hygiene which is the best way to avoid diseases. Our group is named "Diam laye Niane" (praying for peace), the members are:
• Seynabou Diop, 15 yars old
• Awa Diop, 10 years old
• Awa diop, 10 years
• Maria Me Mboup, 12 years
• Aly Sow, 12 years
• Aby Sow, 12 yeas
• Birahim Dieng, 14 years
• Ibrahima Mbaye, 13 years
My name is Manny and I'm in the second grade. My conviction is education for all kids. This means every child should be able to go to school for free. Maybe you and I can write letters to the presidents of other countries saying every child should have to go to school and it should be free. Write back and let me know what you think.
Greetings from DIAM (peace) group. We attend the 5th and 6th grades, primary school. We are so proud of your letters. We think that everyone has to attend school and learn how to read and write. Each child has to be free. We agree with you.
Here, the government is setting up a politic to help children to attend French school, through a program named "Education for all within year 2015". Members of our group are:
• Lena Sow : 11 years
• Mame Awa Fall 10 years
• Seynabou Diallo 12 years
• Fara Diop, 11 years
• Makhtar Dieng, 12 years
• Alioune Thiam, 12 years
I'm nine years old, I'm in the third grade and I live in the United States. Right now, I'm learning about global challenges like world hunger. It's the same as acting on your convictions. What can you do to improve literature? I could sell books. What about you?
Another of my convictions is that we should end world hunger. We should grow plants to keep people healthy. We need vegetables and fruits. You could grow health foods where you live and then donate them to the homeless, so they can stay healthy and live long. My conviction is also that all kids should have education to survive. Kids need to know math, science, reading, language, and the writing progress. All kids and adults need to know all those subjects for many reasons.
Like you, we think that to end hunger we should grow a lot of healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits and cereals. We should also implement cattle breeding projects in order to donate meat to children and adults living in poor communities. In fact, we also agree with you that education is important and is the base of everything. Here we are encouraging parents to send their children to school.
Our group is named "Dego" (mutual understanding) and the members are the following:
• Thiawda 13 years old.
• Khady 13
• Malick 10
• Mohan 12
• Rokhaya 11
• Yacine 13
• Mame Khady 11
To act on your convictions means to always believe in what YOU believe in. And convictions itself means to believe in it strongly. My conviction is to give us a cleaner environment. Personally, I think making a cleaner environment is easy. It's like keeping a house clean. Just remember to always pick up your trash, and if you see people litter, just remind them to pickup after themselves and sometimes do a little cleaning. So basically, it's easy to make a cleaner environment.
Dear Friend Kaylin,
We, as well as our environment must be clean to keep good health. We should stop putting the rubbish everywhere in the streets and we should also keep our habitat clean and safe. We have to put the rubbish in a bag where children can't be in touch with. We have to clean the toilets everyday.
Our group name is "mbolo" (Unity) and the members are the following:
• Moussa Fall, 10 years
• Maguette Diop, 9
• Bilal Faye, 9
• Guitte Daigne, 10
• Mame Ana Diagne, 10
• Fatou Diop, 11
• Sata Mbodj, 13
• Djibril Faye, 13
You're my friend, and I want to tell you about my global convictions. I can tell you about a few of my convictions. My convictions are, help stop crime and--please don't laugh at this just because you don't want to--you have to recycle or else the whole world will be dirty, dirty, dirty. It will be so dirty that all the people in the whole entire world will be sick, even you. And please can you help make new jobs and help make peace. But one thing I have to ask you, what are your convictions? I pray for you every night. From a seven-year old boy named Ryen.
Hi! we are so proud of your good idea. So we hope that all will be successful as your whishes. In fact, It is a bad thing to dump the streets, by throwing rubbish everywhere. The flies can bring so much illnesses such as dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, measles which can affect many people in the village.
Our group is named "Belles Etoile" (lovely star)
• We are Amadou 11 year old
• Oulimata 13
• Baye Fara 12
• Seydou 10
• Albert 12
• Fatou 11
• Mame 12
We too, we are praying for you and all other children in the World
My name is Eryn Akins. I'm 8 years old. My conviction is ending world hunger. I can end world hunger by growing healthy foods and giving canned foods to the homeless. Can you give canned foods and grow healthy foods where you live?
Greetings from Senegal, We were very glad to receive your letter, in our group we try to understand the content and we appreciate a lot your convictions consisting to fight against hunger. This is great, as we are living in a developing country were there is a high rate of poverty. Where we cannot give canned foods, but we can help our parents to grow more vegetables and cereal in order to share with poorest people.
Our group members are:
• Thieka Seye, 10 years,
• Modou Diop 9
• Samba Faty, 11
• Gora Sarr, 10
• Naty Dieye, 9
• Mamy Kebe, 10
Habits-of-Heart and World Hunger
CEP students have acted to address world hunger from many perspectives. It all began when they studied the habit-of-heart patience and took a trip to at Vital Zuman Farms, and learned the patience it takes to grow pumpkins from farmer Alan. They decorated pumpkins to give to adopted grandparents and also made pumpkin pies for a homeless shelter.
Guest presenter Suart Jaffe discussed how his organization, F.A.I.T.H. feeds the hungry in Los Angeles. Students studied the causes of hunger in their home state of California and talked about the reasons why people with jobs still go hungry. They compared these social reasons with the reasons for hunger in other parts of the world and discussed kinds of drought resistant plants that offer the best nutrition. Dr. Diana Farid told them about the heart benefits of sunflower seeds. Students raised money to benefit world hunger and presented it to Plan International representative Pam Pieris. They learned about sustainable development and the many countries their efforts had helped.
Meanwhile, they sent seeds and clay pots to their friends at the Kiiva School in Nairobi, where students experimented with seeds and sent photos of the nursery where they have started growing mangos, pawa paw, passion fruit, silk oak, asuriana and will begin poultry keeping. and news of their own planting project, challenging the American students to grow their own seeds in return.
The alumni club continued to learn about gardening by participating in community gardening project in Los Angeles.
The Kenyan students also shared information about a traditional African wedding and the use of gourds in the ceremony. The American students discussed a plan to incorporate their own dancing skills to create a play using the gourds and other materials about African weddings. The play would be part of a fundraiser to help tsunami victims left hungry.
Some students also wrote letters to convey their convictions about world hunger and challenge other students to act on them. See Project Geodysseo for details and to read their letters.