The ‘E’ Factor (Service Learning)

tom Joy 2What is everyone up to this weekend? Looks like lots of lacrosse and baseball games going on to kick-off some spring sports. Also, there is a wonderful exhibit today by Platetone Printshop at the high school theater art gallery from 4-6 p.m. Stop by for some beautiful and affordable prints to decorate your walls.

Well, to continue our blog series The ‘E’ Factor, today we are focusing on the service learning program at Ensworth, specifically the fifth grade relationship with Tom Joy Head Start.

Service Learning is a core component of the Ensworth program and is incorporated into the curriculum at every grade level, encouraging students to become lifelong contributors to their community.

Each marking period the fifth graders visit Tom Joy with the primary focus of reading good books. They begin the year by getting to know their Tom Joy buddies and sharing information about each other. Students create a square grid, where they share and draw pictures about their families, pets and homes (Innermost square), their schools and communities (outermost square).

The goal when going to Tom Joy is to get Tom Joy students excited about reading. Every time students visit they share some of their favorite books with their Tom Joy buddies and when possible their buddies read to them.  Between visits the students send pictures and letters to the Tom Joy students to help foster relationships.

“The most important thing we do is give our students the opportunity to develop relationships with their Tom Joy buddies. They learn to support and encourage their buddies, working through difficulties and praising their efforts. Students share their love for books and inspire our Tom Joy buddies to discover the joy of reading, ” said Barb Daugherty, fifth grade teacher.


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