ARC Students Mean Business
The primary focus of the Vinalhaven Public Education Program is to provide hands-on, standards-based life skills training for island youth, specifically sustainable business, nutrition, and environmental and civic education for Vinalhaven middle-school students.
Since 2007, the ARC has worked collaboratively with Vinalhaven Public School, providing both for-credit alternative and place-based education and non-accredited after-school training programs, to date serving over 30 middle and high school students.
During the 2012–2013 academic year the ARC’s Education Director, Amy Palmer, will work collaboratively with the VH Middle School Team to facilitate place-based education and service-learning, or “field-studies”, projects for middle school students.
In place-based education the local community serves as the classroom, bringing students out of their traditional academic environment and into “real-world” situations where they learn to become active, engaged citizens and stewards of the world around them. Place-based education focuses on developing students’ life and problem solving skills resulting in their increased community and civic engagement, as well as a greater appreciation and understanding of the natural world.
Field-studies integrate place-based education with academic content. In the ARC’s program, for example, students learning about health and nutrition will participate in designing, sourcing, and preparing a weekly local lunch. This work involves real-world questions and problem solving
• What makes a balanced, nutritious, yet tasty meal?
• What does it mean for the VH economy to buy locally-grown food?
• How can we make local food affordable in order to meet our budget?
• How do we prepare and cook raw foods?
Students will use their academic knowledge to actively create and implement solutions to these challenges. Through field-studies, they will experience working collaboratively with fellow students and community organizations, gain a greater awareness of how academic learning applies to real-world problem-solving, and build the confidence to generate innovative solutions.
The ARC’s Public Education Program for 2012–2013 academic year will
• Enroll thirty-plus middle school students
• Use standards to measure students’ learning, for which they will receive academic credit
• Focus on skill-building in areas of business and entrepreneurship, food and nutrition, and civic engagement
• Graduate students who demonstrate proficiency in the areas of Responsibility, Communication, Professionalism, Citizenship and Leadership
• Graduate students who meet core standards in Reading/Writing, Social Studies/History, Math, Science, and Entrepreneurship