The Oyster River Cooperative School District is pleased to share that Oyster River Middle School recently celebrated students' commitment to community through its annual Service Palooza event.
The Middle School celebrated Service Palooza on May 25. Launched 10 years ago, the beloved school-wide tradition encourages all middle school staff and students to participate in a local act of community service.
Students in Grades 5-8 received special lessons about the importance of giving back to their community and learned that they can make a difference in all aspects of the lives of others.
In one project, Grade 5 students on the Tamarack Team raised brook trout, a species of declining population in the state, in their classroom. Taking their research on the species and the environment, students generated ideas and questions of what might be happening to brook trout in New Hampshire.
As a culminating activity, they released their trout into Stonehouse Pond in Barrington. New Hampshire Fish and Game representatives were on site to work with students to determine the quality of that location for the trout. Students performed water quality testing and listened to the expertise of N.H. Fish and Game experts.
Another part of the day was spent working with Seacoast Land Trust (SELT) on a variety of trail projects, including a revegetation project, trail repair, and riparian zone restoration. A SELT representative spoke about the importance of these projects and how they will protect the habitat of brook trout.
"I am proud of our students. They raised their brook trout in the classroom and were engaged in an environmental detective unit and researched a variety of environmental issues," said Grade 5 Teacher Diana Pelletier. "Our Grade 5 students demonstrated a successful example of community service learning."
Another project came from the 12 members of the ORMS Robotics Club. The team, which attended the World Championships competition in Dallas, offered a robotics workshop for coaches in the state that focused on aspects needed to run a successful middle school VEX IQ robotics program.
Their objective for offering the informative workshop was to build an alliance with other programs by providing them the support tools to bring their programs to the next level, which was met with an abundance of positive feedback.
Participants were from Belmont Middle School, McLaughlin Middle School in Manchester, Henry W. Moore School in Candia, Waterville Valley Elementary School, Campton Elementary School, ConVal/Great Brook Middle School, Robotics Marketplace LLC, and the SAU 16 - Exeter, Shaker Regional, Milton, Newfound Area, and Kittery, Maine school districts.
"Our middle school students impress us every year with their impactful community service projects," said Superintendent James Morse. "We are proud to see them get excited about helping the community and use what they have learned in classes and clubs to get creative in their acts of service. The district's Service Palooza is an event that we look forward to every year."
Grade 5 students released brook trout into Stonehouse Pond in Barrington as part of their community service project. (Photo Courtesy Oyster River Cooperative School District)
A representative from N.H. Fish and Game helps ORMS students with their water quality testing at Stonehouse Pond. (Photo Courtesy Oyster River Cooperative School District)