Middle School Students Perform Skits and Songs at Salem Baptist
Now in its second year, the revamped Middle School service learning program gives students the opportunity to choose the kind of community service they want to be involved with. Categories include Arts, Poverty, The Environment, Health and Animal Welfare.
This year, students who chose the performing arts as their community service worked with Middle School Math Teacher Justin Solonynka and Middle School Theatre Teacher Mary Carpenter on a yearlong project. In November, the students visited with seniors at Salem Baptist Church in Jenkintown. For the next several community service days the students and their teachers discussed the interviews, looked for commonalities and differences between the students' experience and those of the seniors at the church, and talked about potential performance ideas. The students chose to perform skits, and songs based on the seniors’ responses and memories of growing up and being a teenager. They then rehearsed for several sessions and brought the final performance back to Salem Baptist.
“I feel like the students not only learned about what is was like to grow up as a teenager in a different time,” says Mary, “but also discovered the similarities between their experience and that of the members they interviewed. They also were struck by the differences in family relationships and what folks did for fun. I think another important part of the experience was talking to people of a different generation and broadening the students' community and world view.”