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Media contact: Gail Blazer
Student Service Learning Focuses on the Environment
Service learning in Worcester County schools is influenced by needs students see in the community. One major point of focus for them is the environment.
Coordinator of Instruction for Worcester County, Jess McInerney, said service learning is meant to encourage students to see how their community is supporting them and show students how they can give support back.
The projects students complete are comprised of three elements: research, action and reflection. McInerney described how the combination of these elements allow students to enact change in their communities. Students may research a problematic trash item in the area, participate in a cleanup where they track the trash they are finding and later use the information to create programs at their schools, communicate with city officials, or educate others.
“They’re not just seeing that direct service, they’re then reflecting and realizing what they can further do,” McInerney said. “It’s not just this one-time thing where they spend eight hours cleaning a beach, it really is this long-term solution that they’re trying to grapple with.”
Service learning receives support from local organizations. McInerney thinks these local organizations do a great job of listening to student voices and she hopes to see that support continue. She feels none of these projects would be possible without their help.
“We have very strong community support in Ocean City, Berlin, Snow Hill, and Pocomoke,” McInerney said. “I would like to thank all of our community organizations that work with our students.”
The Green Team is a committee within the Town of Ocean City. This group consists of individuals that are focused on protecting the resources of the community. They also work to gather information on the specific actions outlined in the Sustainable Maryland Certified Program to get Ocean City Certified Sustainable! To learn more about their efforts, including the Litter Free OC campaign, please visit: www.oceancity.green.