Students Learn to Give Grow and Lead in the Digital WorldAugust 11, 2020
As IPSF Summer classes transitioned online, our instructors were tasked with adapting their curriculum to a virtual platform while maintaining an interactive and fun experience for students. One of our most popular classes, Give Grow Lead, faced the huge challenge of connecting students with their local community though project-based service-learning opportunities.
Instructor, Alison Ordonez, knew she had to come up with different ways for the students to get connected, so she reached out to partners from previous years and to other local nonprofits in the area who were happy to work with her to bring these opportunities to her students virtually.
These experiences included learning about volunteerism from non-profit organization OneOC, and virtual tours of Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Refuge foundation and the Irvine Farm + Food to learn about sustainable living and the importance animals play in the life cycle. Students also created pet toys for the Irvine Animal Care Center using the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) and reused old clothing. In addition, students wrote virtual letters, poems and drawings and sent them to seniors at the Sunrise Senior Living as a small act of kindness, as well as wrote virtual letters to heroes on the coronavirus front line through Operation Gratitude.
This year, students planned and implemented their own group service project called the Kindness Kickoff Campaign where they challenged their family and friends to join them for six days of kindness. Each day had a new theme from writing a note of gratitude, to picking up trash in their neighborhood. The goal was to inspire others to make the world a better place by spreading kindness wherever they went.
“I believe in the importance of giving back to the community, doing acts of kindness, and advocating for positive changes,” explains Alison Ordonez. “I hope that this class will leave a lasting impression upon the students and ignite a spark within them that will lead them to become positive advocates for other important issues in their lives.”
We are so grateful for innovative teachers like Alison who made IPSF Summer online an enriching educational experience for students.