At Northwood Academy Charter School, students are gaining knowledge well beyond their textbooks. Northwood Academy Charter School, which has been part of the Frankford community for 10 years, is offering programs such as Service Learning and Classroom Champions in addition to traditional subjects. These programs give students opportunities to expand their knowledge and sense of community. The focus of this year’s Service Learning projects is West Africa. Each classroom plays a specific role in developing a plan to help others. This will be accomplished through public service announcements to raise awareness of the plight of many in West Africa, providing hygiene and school kits as well as care package items that will be sent to those in need in West Africa.
In their classrooms, students are creating water experiments to show the difference between filtered and unfiltered water, along with items such as drums and African games to show cultural pieces. Students had the unique privilege of interviewing and making food with several community members from West Africa. There is even a kente cloth after school club. Inside the school, an African village exhibit is being constructed with a miniature home, clay masks (via a Claymobile visit), interlocking map and more. This hands-on experience provides students the opportunity to actively participate in their learning.
The idea of being an upstanding, empathetic citizen is instilled in all the students through service trips with local organizations such as Cradles to Crayons, and the Cancer Treatment Center of America. Many students still comment on their experiences years after their occurrence.
Kiersten Davis, a 6th grade student remembers her experience of going to the Cancer Treatment Center back in 2013…”I felt good about myself because I had helped someone else that day by singing them a song. I wanted to make the people feel better while they were dealing with a difficult situation”
The Classroom Champions program partners Northwood students with an Olympic athlete. This partnership allows students to communicate directly with their athlete via Skype sessions and other correspondence. The message students get from the athlete is that they need to work towards their goals while learning learn life lessons on overcoming obstacles. These inspirational messages are delivered with groundbreaking projects such as helping to add beacons to a course for a paralympian Lex Gillette to use to improve his training. The students see their traditional lessons come alive in real- life scenarios. As if this wasn’t enough Northwood Academy offers Ballroom Dancing with Dancing Classrooms Philly, Character Education, overnight teambuilding activities at Camp Onas, visits from scientists, police officers, community workers, and more. By the time students leave Northwood Academy they have a wealth of knowledge and experiences that textbooks simply can’t teach. It is the goal of Northwood Academy to send forth citizens that contribute, care, and are lifelong learners.
Northwood Academy is always open to new ways in which our students can be part of the community. If you have any suggestions please contact Amy Kelly, the school’s Community Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.