Katherine Roberts

Grade Level: 
Springfield Middle School
MI 49037
United States
Why I want my students to be involved in volunteering and service, etc. 
I grew up in a small town funeral home. Our house was always open to the grieving families, and this taught me how to be flexible and give to others. When I learned about Philanthropy Education, it was the bridge that I’d been searching for to connect my students’ education with purpose and real-life situations.
Tips for infusing philanthropy... 
Using Philanthropy Education has become “how we do things” in my classroom. It’s a philosophy of teaching that addresses the whole student and reaps many benefits and rewards. It has revolutionized my teaching and ability to impact my students. I have been able to make connections with students that I never dreamed were possible. My students know I care and I’ve demonstrated this through introducing them to something (service) that will help build their confidence and esteem. I don’t think we’ll ever know the full impact of this, but I can tell that it’s made a huge difference in the culture of my classroom.
I taught this LTG lesson 
We use the Blue Sky activity to get my students thinking about issues they care about, and follow that up with “The Best Day Ever.” This lesson helps students look at how they spend their spare time and decide what type of activities they could put into that time that would help others. This gets the students thinking about an area where they might make a difference. I use the lesson “Facing Our Struggles” to help them see that we all have issues and then guide them in writing their Spoken Word poetry. We spend a lot of time working on writing techniques. We start by writing our narratives, and then use good writers’ techniques to transform our writing into a form ready for an inspiring performance that the students and audience loved.
Student Impact 
My students used the medium of “spoken word poetry” to share their struggles in life and build better relationships with each other, their parents, and their teachers. They grew from the poetry project and helped others open up to be real. The poetry performance admission targets a community agency that needs our help (i.e., collecting canned goods or books for a literacy program). My students loved this experience, and the students from previous years are happy to return to help this year’s students. It’s a powerful experience that impacts the whole school community. Here are some of their comments: "I’m more confident in myself to just be me." "I learned that there are others like me." "I went home and wrote some poems from my heart." "At the beginning it was very hard for me to speak in front of large groups or share my feelings with people but now I feel that I can. "I showed who I really was and to be proud of it." "I gained braveness to be able to perform in front of a lot of people." "I took away a lot like my depression that I’ve had. It’s good to let it out." "I learned that it’s just easier to be yourself and be real."