Recently, we had the privilege of presenting at not one, but two conferences on the power of student voice and the work of our dynamic city-wide network of students and teachers.

At the National Network of Schools in Partnership (NNSP) Conference, Program Director Kyra Atterbury delivered the opening keynote to over 100 participants from across the United States.  Titled, “The Power of Students,” Kyra shared how Need in Deed’s process encourages students to find their voice and build on the skills they are learning in school to make real change in their communities.

Participants remarked on how amazed they were by Need in Deed’s work and were challenged and inspired to bring more student voice into their own settings.

In addition to the keynote address, we also presented a workshop at NNSP called “Community Engagement that Centers on Student Voice,” in which Program Manager Janet Chance and General George A. McCall teacher Meg Merlini shared how she facilitates bringing her 4th graders to consensus around one social issue and then integrates that issue into her curriculum.

Using multiple examples from her many years as a Need in Deed teacher, Meg discussed how her teaching has evolved as a result of working with Need in Deed and how student voice is now central to her practice as a 4th grade educator.

During the same weekend we also presented at EduCon.  EduCon is an annual conference where educators from across the country gather to discuss the future of schools.

Program Director Pam Prell and Science Leadership Academy Middle School teacher and Need in Deed teacher, Sarah Duenas led a session called “My Voice Matters,”  in which participants learned how centering student voice in middle school encourages engagement, empathy building, and problem solving skills.

This weekend gave us the opportunity to share our belief that Need in Deed’s brand of student-centered, community-centered service-learning is a powerful tool to engage students in their education and in their communities.

It goes without saying that we are proud to spread the word about our work and hope others are inspired as well.