Education Extending Beyond the Classroom

Education Extending Beyond the Classroom

by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, Nativity Prep teacher

I wanted to take some time to thank you for the difference you’ve made in the lives of our students and share with you a story of triumph.

As a language arts teacher at Nativity Prep Academy I focus my time with developing middle school students’ writing skills. I take students through the stages of planning, drafting, critiquing, revising, editing, and publishing written work based around an organizing project that, hopefully, captures their interest. Over the course of a school year, students complete four to six in-depth writing projects that cover the major text types as well as poetry. At the end of each project, we publish (make public) our work in some way.

One project that has been especially meaningful on many levels is a 7th grade collaborative science and writing project called Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions. This year, our students:

  • watched films
  • went on a field trip to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography
  • did a beach clean-up
  • and read articles about plastic ocean pollution

The students wrote opinion essays about the problem and possible solutions. To “publish” their work, they collaboratively created an interactive public presentation about the problem which they have presented at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Maker Faire in Balboa Park, and to the San Diego City Council. They also created a “pitch” film and applied to attend the Algalita Foundation’s Plastic Ocean Pollution International Youth Summit, which is open to students from grades 7 – 12.

I am proud to share that a Nativity Prep team of four students, Wendy, Atziri, Adriana and Maria, have earned a place at the conference, which they will attend next month along with other school teams from all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Kenya and the Bahamas.

As a teacher, my role is to help students understand that their voice matters. Thank you for empowering me though your volunteer hours, support, and prayers. You make this possible, opening the doors for our students to come to Nativity Prep where they leave knowing that they can have an impact on the world. Thank you again for the difference you’ve made in our students’ lives.