Charity Fair vs Service Learning Project

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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA >> By this point in the year the majority of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in the AdVENTURE STEM program have done the charity fair and service learning projects at least once each. Most teachers in the program have participated in guiding students through both projects too. In winter of the 2019-2020 school year the AdVENTURE program did charity fair. This year we did the service learning project in place of charity fair. Now that we have seen how both projects work, a question has been posed. How will AdVENTURE continue to serve our community in the coming years? Is there a way to combine both projects?

The project Charity Fair is mainly about focusing on a charity of your choice which requires you to make presentations and products that help bring awareness. The Service Learning Project that we were required to do this year is participating in an act of service that will benefit our community as active members.  Since COVID-19 was discovered by the public around January 2020, it started the pandemic which affected schools to do distance learning. Due to distance learning, we had to do the Service Learning Project this year instead of the Charity Fair.  In Charity Fair, 4 students in each group need to pick a charity that they’re passionate about and create a presentation that only includes pictures in a slideshow along with scripts to plan out what you should say in each slide.  They also need to plan out their product by making a carbon footprint of where you can get your supplies in order to make your product. In the Service Learning Project, students need to do an act of service and create a presentation.

All a lot of students leaned towards Charity Fair as the better option, stating that they liked the creative elements of it and prefered working with a group. “Even though I rushed more on Charity Fair, I still think it would be better to do Charity Fair than the Service Learning Project.” says Jeet Lad, a 7th grade AdVENTURE Student. Another student named Gisele Diaz agrees. “Yeah there are a lot more steps and stuff but it isn’t like you are doing it alone, you are doing it with others and the process seems a lot quicker and less difficult” Gisele continues to say.  Some people thought the both projects could be worked into the school year, to stimulate even deeper learning in students. “I think that we should do both. I think that charity fair should be done because a lot of people are brought to AdVENTURE because of the charity fair. … However the service learning project – I feel like, not to the extent we did it this year online just because we were doing it in place of charity fair, but I do want for our elective to do something about service learning.” says Ms. Albergotti, A history and elective teacher at the AdVENTURE STEM program.

Charity fair is honestly another way to do something for a cause, like make products for a charity to sell the products. “ Preparing all the docs, products, and the presentation was the hardest part of Charity fair because we had to use our own time to make some final touches. For our products, we always had to rush depending on what we made for our products. As well as choosing a charity was also a big part in making a decision on what your topic would be for Charity fair” says Jeet Lad. Overall, both Charity fair and Service learning needs a lot of planning to be successful on what you’re making or doing for the cause you chose. Either you plan out what days are needed to finish your products, or collaborate with your group to help each other out. It may become stressful at some points during your Charity fair or Service Learning journeys, but it is a good way to help charities that are in need.