About the Program
This school year, the High School for Law and Public Service (HSLPS) located in Washington Heights, created a common period where each grade level Professional Learning Community (PLC) meets at the same time, twice a week, during the school day. The 9th grade PLC, led by Assistant Principal and ESI Liaison, Alexandra Brown, decided to include students once per week during their meeting.
Once per week, ninth grade students are invited to come and work with their peers and their teachers on various service learning projects. Upperclassmen who served as mentors were also invited to attend these sessions. Upperclassmen mentors were then paired with a Freshman student and introduced to the service learning project.
The first project that they worked on was called Open the Door to College. The students, freshman and mentor, were assigned a college or university to research and collect data and artifacts to create a display. With support from the 9th grade teachers, the students would then make a colorful and creative display on classroom doors depicting the essence of the college/university that they had learned about. A contest to choose the most creative and informative college door took place and prizes were won.
At the end of the day, there were no winners or losers: everyone won. The young people learned more about colleges and university, they participated in a fun research project, the students bonded with each other and teachers bonded with their students. A true win-win-win situation.