The Community Project is the capstone of the IB program, where 8th grade students match their passions to local issues and develop a comprehensive plan for community service. On Friday, May 25, our current 8th grade students had the chance to present their projects to their peers and families. Check out a summary of each project below!
Aaron Binstock, Nate Campbell, Kieran Fruebis, Will Goldthwaite: For this project, Aaron, Nate, Kieran, and Will shared a goal of providing food to the less fortunate of Morris County. The foursome decided to unite their passions for gardening and building to create a community garden at the Speedwell Campus. The garden would provide fresh produce to the local food bank, add aesthetic appeal to the school grounds, and provide students with future community service opportunities. After careful planning, and the help of Nate's mother Yiba Ng, and Speedwell's landlord Joe Masterfano, the boys were able to create a beautiful, and functioning garden that will continue on in the years to come!
Thomas Blair: As one of the many unhappy SmartLunches customers, Thomas wanted to find a solution to the infamous lunch delivery experience. Thomas surveyed students on their various lunch offerings and passed along the comments and suggestions to a SmartLunches representative. After no response from SmartLunches, Thomas proceeded to share his findings with Red Oaks administration. This information helped to confirm the need for a change. Red Oaks now has a new lunch program! No Fuss Lunch is a lunch delivery service that features fresh, healthy, nut-free food options without undesirable ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and MSG. No Fuss Lunch will be available to all Red Oaks students starting the 2018-2019 academic year
Will Bleier: As the resident "tech expert" of the Middle School student body, Will wanted to find a way to help everyone in their daily lives of technology. He investigated the tech environment at Red Oaks by surveying classmates on common problems. and contacted administrative staff about current internet settings and potential upgrades. Will then compiled all of his knowledge and research to create a comprehensive Tech Support Guide on PowerSchool Learning. Easily accessible to all Middle School students (and staff!), the guide features many helpful tips and tricks, and includes troubleshooting for Chromebooks, printers, projectors, and speakers! The Tech Support Guide will be quite a helpful tool for the Red Oaks Middle School!
Daniel Dippold: Daniel wanted to continue his lifelong journey of raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and funding for a cure. Inspired by his best friend and cystic fibrosis patient, Stanley Zolek, Daniel expanded the Great Strides Walk for CF program, previously based in New York City, to include New Jersey. Along with creating informative t-shirts and memorabilia, Daniel recently led a Red Oaks team to join Stanley's City Slickers and march for a cure in Morristown. The team will be featured at the national NYC Great Strides Walk on Sunday, June 3, 2018. For more information, please visit Stanley's website and Daniel's website.
Devin Fosu & Kareem Lawal: Devin and Kareem joined in an endeavor to improve the lives of the elderly in Ghana. When communications fell flat due to long distance and logistics, they switched their focus to the elderly in America. Devin and Kareem came in contact with the staff at Arbor Terrace, an assisted living center in Morris Plains, NJ. After learning of their need for more recreational activities, the duo arranged to host a Bingo Night for their residents. The evening was so successful that residents and staff eagerly asked for another visit. Devin and Kareem happily returned a few weeks later for another round of Bingo and conversation.
Tyler Grant: Tyler has a passion for graphic design and wanted to share his love and knowledge with others. Tyler put together a detailed lesson plan that he would teach to after school students at Morristown's Neighborhood House. When communications fell through, he looked even closer to home and arranged to teach his classmates at The Red Oaks School. On May 8, Tyler gave a lesson to Red Oaks 5th graders on how to use the program Pixlr to make graphical art!
Bobby Hickman: Inspired by his love of theater and performing arts, Bobby originally hoped to create a small production for the younger students at the Cutler Campus. When this plan proved to be too complicated for multiple parties, he shifted his focus on the Shakespeare unit occurring in his Language and Literature class. Bobby created and taught an acting lesson to his 7th and 8th grade classmates with an emphasis on diction. The lesson proved to be very helpful in the students upcoming production of The Tempest!
Saif Prabhu: As a Livingston local, Saif wanted to raise money for Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a non-profit organization that supports residents in need. A meeting with LNHN's board members soon lead to the idea of a tennis tournament fundraiser. Saif, an avid tennis player, proceeded to reserve tennis courts, make promotional flyers, create scenario analysis for team registrations, and solicit prizes for the tournament. Since the beginning of the project, $4,900 has been raised between tournament entry fees and donations! Join Saif on September 25, 2018 for the Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors Inaugural Tennis Tournament!
David Stephens: With a passion for outdoors and an Uncle who runs a widely unknown hiking trail, David found the perfect focus for his community project: raising awareness of the Transcaucasian Trial (TCT) in Georgia and Armenia. After being turned down by local newspapers, he decided to write and submit an article for the internet juggernaut of Wikipedia. David hopes that raising awareness of the TCT will help develop sustainable tourism in the area and reinforce the unique culture. As of today, David's TCT article is officially published on Wikipedia!
Julia Yermack: As a passionate animal lover, Julia wanted to help animals in need. After learning of the many animal shelters in New Jersey that were overflowing with homeless pets, she decided to raise money for St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison. Julia went on to independently organize two bake sales at Red Oaks and raise over $500. She even did all of the baking herself! Julia's donation has since become a part of St. Hubert's 2018 Annual Fund Matching Gift Challenge, and she has been featured as a Community Engagement Success Story on their blog.
Congratulations to all of our 8th grade students on their incredible Community Projects! Well done!