Following a presentation to teachers and administration about the Care Space on Oct. 8 by Janessa Mosqueda ‘22 and Angelica Borrego ‘22, Civics teacher Mica Vahl felt inspired, she said. The Civics team decided to include the Care Space in the Take Action project, a state mandated part of the Civics curriculum where students engage in service learning.
“I thought [it was] a great way for our students to not only learn what it means to be an engaged citizen through the Take Action project, but a way to benefit students right here in our own local community,” Vahl said.
Vahl invited Mosqueda and Borrego to speak to Civics classes on Oct. 21, where they discussed the reasons LT has a need for the Care Space and why they formed it, Vahl said. After students viewed the presentation, they brainstormed ways to help the Care Space, both at school and in the greater community. These ideas included holding a donation drive and reaching out to local businesses.
“They did a great job explaining exactly what the Care Space will be, and put into perspective how much it will benefit LT,” Sadie Ruppert ‘24 said. “It was very inspiring to me to see that students at this school are able to make a difference and do things they set their minds to.”
In the beginning of the project, Civics students first engaged in background research, examining the impact of poverty and hunger on academic performance, Vahl said. Students then looked into the demographic makeup of the LT school district; they compared it to surrounding communities such as Hinsdale, Proviso, and Oak Park River Forest to gain an understanding of the need that exists in the local community. The Civics classes made flyers for the Care Space that were hung up around both NC and SC. The flyers included information about lack of nutrition and learning, the impact of poverty on academic performance, as well as how students can access the Care Space and how to make a donation.
“Our job as a Civics group is to support what Janessa and Aani have already started,” Vahl said. “We fell in love with their idea and are finding a way for our students to positively impact their own community.”
The Civics team hopes to have second semester Civics students engage in service learning for the Care Space as well, Vahl said. They will either continue where first semester students left off, or identify an additional need to help with.
“It feels very good to be able to make a difference in the community,” Ruppert said. “I think it’s great that this is something we can work on in class, because it’s a very good experience and a great way to learn by actually taking action.”