Recently I was sent a proposal that 5th graders at Parker-Varney School had developed as part of a real-life learning experience. Their goal was to make the lives of homeless veterans at the Liberty House a little bit brighter by raising funds and collecting supplies and personal care items.
With the support of their teachers, they honed their mathematics, writing, and communication skills through project-based learning. The students raised nearly five times their original goal of $1,000! They excelled in their learning, and supported a great community cause at the same time.
Hillside Middle School’s FIRST LEGO League team, which competed in the recent New Hampshire/Vermont championship event at Nashua High School South, won the Judge’s Award for “Passion About the Problem.” The 7th and 8th grade five-member team of Don Seabury, Ava Ryder, Sam Borge, Tony Pion, and Hunter Churchill, along with their two advisors, parent Diane Seabury and Hillside teacher Susan Werst, worked hard as they focused on the question, “How and why are rescue dogs trained?”
Parker-Varney and Hillside are just two examples of the can-do, student-focused attitude of our teachers, students, staff, and parents. When our students participate in real-life activities they learn valuable lessons about trial and error, decision-making, reasoning, innovation, and creativity through project-based learning.
In visiting classrooms across the district, I continue to be impressed and appreciative of the outstanding teaching and learning that happens every day. Thank you for all that you do to “inspire and empower all learners.”
Dr. Debra Livingston is Superintendent of Manchester School District.