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Greencastle-Antrim schools receive service-learning grant

April 04, 2012

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — The Greencastle-Antrim School District recently received a service-learning grant of $15,000 from Learn and Serve America as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, according to a news release.

Greencastle-Antrim was one of six Pennsylvania school districts to be awarded funding.

The new grant provides money for three service-learning projects — production of a video featuring high school student interviews with local World War II veterans and Holocaust liberators; implementation of a collaborative literacy project involving ninth-grade English students and primary students; and the establishment of a fifth-grade student advisory board that will provide service-learning minigrants to primary and elementary teachers, the news release said.

Social studies teacher Ellen Kirkner wrote the grant with assistance from Ginny Lays, a professional grant writer and owner of the The Write Group.

Martina Fegan’s human-rights literature classes at Greencastle-Antrim High School are using the funds to produce a DVD featuring local veterans’ interviews conducted last year by her students. A Chambersburg, Pa., video production company, Pro Arts Media, is producing the film.

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The DVD and a companion book will be released in a premiere at 7 p.m. May 1, in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Both items are available for sale, and proceeds will benefit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Wounded Warrior Project. The veterans, survivors and students will conduct a DVD/book signing following the premiere.

Ninth-grade English teachers Marci Stover and Chelle Bingaman are using grant funds to purchase books that their students will read to Greencastle-Antrim Primary School students. The ninth-graders will become “book buddies” with their primary students and will read to them on a regular basis throughout the semester.

For the past three years, Kirkner has supervised a student committee known as STARS, or Students and Teachers Achieving Results through Service, which includes civics students elected by their peers to market and oversee service-learning minigrants throughout the school district.

Under the terms of the new grant, last year’s high school STARS committee members trained a new committee of fifth-grade students. Teachers have the opportunity to apply for $500 minigrants to fund service-learning projects in their schools.

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