A Glimpse into the 9th Grade Project Week 2012-13
Location: Cresset Farm, Fort Collins Colorado
Description: The 9th grade spent project week in Fort Collins, Colorado taking part in community service on a biodynamic farm. The students participated in various activities of biodynamic farming including: painting murals on the chicken coops, building a fire pit, weeding and planting, harvesting in the fields, cooking community meals, preparing stations throughout the farm to help teach local lower school children (who visited the farm for a few hours on a fieldtrip) about Cresset Farm, cleaned and organized the farm store, cleaned and organized the barn, fed the animals, and more. Students also enjoyed community and class bonding time around an evening fire, attending a local recreation center to enjoy swimming and working in small groups to help prepare three meals a days, along with snacks. Home cooked meals were prepared and enjoyed under the supervision of one of the sponsors.
Class Sponsors: Ralph Doane (Humanities and World Language Teacher), Eowyn Ciccone (College Advisor and High School Educational Support Coordinator), and Claude Baud (World Language Teacher)
Trip: 5 days
Number of Students: 25
Mode of Transportation: Parents and Faculty drove (and picked-up) students to the farm
Time spent on Community Service: Approximately 25 hours
What the class did for “fun”: The students enjoyed community and class bonding time around an evening fire and they attended a local recreation center to enjoy swimming.
What did the students eat?: The students worked in small groups to help prepare three meals a day, along with snacks. Home cooked meals were prepared and enjoyed under the supervision of one of the sponsors.
What was learned: The students learned about life on the farm, thinking about others, working with wood and leadership with younger children.
Why was this project week important?: Especially at the beginning of the ninth grade, it is great to have the opportunity for time to bond with each other and the sponsors, and to get a sense of the whole class that will be on this high school journey together.
What is the pedagogical impulse for the trip?: Ninth grade is about “what” and about cause and effect. What better way than to see what it takes to get food on our plates and what happens when good, honest, hard work is turned into food for plants, food for the animals and more.
Below is a description provided by Eowyn Ciccone, 9th grade Class Sponsor:
“Faculty, students, parents, alumni, and the Shining Mountain Community often speak of Project Week at that high school and how it is an exciting, heartfelt, and memorable experience! This year, serving as a new 9th Grade Sponsor, I looked forward to the amazing opportunity to experience first- hand what so many others have sacredly spoken about. The 9th Grade trip proved to be a profound week of learning, participating in community service, class bonding, self-reflection, engaging in nature, biodynamic farming, and developing a stronger appreciation for the land and all of its extraordinary gifts! Each person on that trip returned with greater insights, deeper understandings, and a sense of true community-priceless!”