The Advanced Placement Psychology students from East Lyme High School ended their school year by putting to work the psychological principles they studied throughout the year. Instead of a traditional research paper, students opted for a service/learning project as their culminating capstone assignment: to combine their course learning, leadership, marketing and advertizing skills to raise money for the Kelsey S. Harrington Foundation, which services local special-needs children and their families. The result was a very successful “Cycle for a Cause” fundraiser, held at Camp Harkness in Waterford on Sunday, June 10, 2012.
The service-learning project was facilitated by Ms. Alison Moger, the students' ELHS Social Studies teacher and Board member of the Kelsey S. Harrington Foundation. As a result of the event and its preparation, students gained new insights into community involvement and the challenges of the special-needs community.
Students recruited riders and solicited business sponsors such as Silly Feet Inflatable, which donated a giant bounce house for the event. They organized entertainment which featured talented high school performers Noah Feldman, Emily Young, Nick Cancelmo, and the band Pro Sly. Participating students were required to keep a journal detailing their activities and how those activities related to what they had learned in psychology classes.
Student Madeline Hebbel stated,“I think it was an amazing challenge-to get students involved in a charity and having us set it up, call businesses, recruit the riders ourselves, raise the money, all while applying the psychological aspects that we spent all year learning. I believe that it was a great and fun way to come full circle in the class while helping children with special needs.”
The Kelsey Harrington Foundation is providing scholarships to four East Lyme High School seniors heading off to college in the fall. Irving Eggleston and Aaron Christian will be receiving $500 each, and Adam Pilarski and Pamela Garcia will be awarded $1000 each. The Foundation is also awarding three $500 scholarships for special education students from East Lyme to attend Camp Harkness for a week this summer.
To learn more about the Kelsey S. Harrington Foundation please visit www.kelseysharringtonfoundation.org