Students learn best when they can make connections to the world around them. That’s why Need in Deed starts with student voice.
The students in each class define a community issue around which they then become advocates and take action. The issue and the sequence of the students’ activities over the year becomes a lens through which the students experience the school curriculum and state learning standards.
Over the school year, as the students collaboratively research, analyze, debate, and develop action steps to address the issue, they meet local professionals and practitioners who can address their questions about the issue.
Need in Deed students experience subject matter and skills not as siloed abstracts but as powerful tools that can be used to effect change. The authentic, community-focused learning that students experience in Need in Deed’s supportive classrooms fosters both academic gains and habits and attitudes that lead to a lifetime of civic participation.
Not a separate class or subject, Need in Deed is part of the school day in classes as diverse as English, mathematics, science, and social studies, art, ESL, and autism support classes.
Our first priority is serving the students of our home city. Through our long experience honoring their voice and supporting a teacher network across this major urban school district, we have much to share with other educators and community leaders.