Brent Dikeman

Grade Level: 
9, 10 and 11
Decatur Central High School
IN 46221
United States
Why I want my students to be involved in volunteering and service, etc. 
Service Learning is a method of instruction that blends the fundamentals of Project Based Learning, state standards, and activities that benefit the school and community. These hands-on learning experiences help students make connections between their school and their community, as well as foster academic learning experiences that benefit society. In an era of increased teacher accountability, service learning provides educators with an opportunity to authenticate the learning process leading to increased academic progress. In short, within service learning students not only become stewards of their environment, historians, archivists of oral histories, authors, artists, and resources to businesses, agencies, and municipal governments. But also develop personal and academic skills that translate into success in college and careers.
Tips for infusing philanthropy... 
In The Choice Academy at Decatur Central High School, our vision is to focus instruction on social, global, and environmental responsibility through service learning. In the last several years we have implemented a few changes to help carry out this vision. First, we started the "Day of Service" project. Throughout the year, one full grades level at a time is provided with an alternative day of education. Each grade level would run through a week or two of Learning to Give lessons dealing with the theme of the event as a way to ensure the student knew why they were serving. The Day of Service project is not a fully integrated service-learning lesson, rather it is designed to build community and introduce students to service in a positive way. We felt building a service mindset in our student population was the most effective way to build service learning into our school. In 4 years we have served at over 20 sites in the Indianapolis area, logging over 8,000 service hours. The second step in the process was to design a classroom around service learning. In 2015 - 2016, The Choice Academy developed a curriculum to merge the English 11 standards with a little know course offered by the stat of Indiana called Community Service. The vision of the class is to "Inspire A World Where Everyone Contributes" and in order to meet that vision each student is challenged to research and identify a need in the community by the end of the first semester. The second semester focuses on the students planning, organizing, and running their own service projects. In just or second year we have started a food pantry, hosted Joe Donnelly US Senator at a service conference, raised awareness for foster childer, advocated for more skateboard parks in the city, collected over 2,000 toys and stuffed animals for foster families. donated over 300 pints of blood at 4 blood drive. This is just a short list of the many events our students have developed. The key is to get them bought in on their own abilities and then help push them through sticking points. With the success of this class, we have had other schools in our district ask how to incorporate service into their curriculum. So we developed a plan to allow our students to teach both the other students and the other teachers about service learning. We asked the students to scan the Learning to Give website, find a lesson to teach, and then use it to help spread the word about service-learning. The Learning to Give website has become a wonderful resource to The Choice Academy as we continue to develop our service-learning framework.
I taught this LTG lesson 
Dont Laugh At Me Humm... What is Philanthropy? Blue Sky Food for Thought: Hungar Around the Block, and Around the World Civil Rights Leaders; Past and Present Character Education: Integrity Character Education: Perseverance Character Education: Self-Discipline Teddy Rosevelt's View on Citizenship and the Environment