Summer of Service 2012

Susan BrennaIf you were a middle school student and had seven weeks to improve your community, where would you start? That’s the question 200 middle school-aged New Yorkers began to confront yesterday on day one of Summer of Service 2012, a TASC project made possible by Innovations in Civic Participation through a generous gift from Walmart.

Walmart logoAt MS 447 in the Bronx, guided by Good Shepherd Services AmeriCorps members, 30 kids began with a big question. They’re constantly told that their goal in life is to be successful. How exactly is that supposed to happen? Where’s the guidebook for dealing with adversity and making healthy decisions in their middle and high school years?

Summer of ServiceThese students plan to spend their weekdays for the next seven weeks trying to answer those questions by producing a documentary they’ll share with others their age in the Bronx. They’ll start by polling other students, examining the life choices they face and messages they receive through popular media. Next they’ll work on how to make good decisions. They’ll also learn the skills of documentary-makers, including conducting interviews and video editing.

We’re eager to see what kind of service projects students in Cypress Hills and Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn decide to research, plan and execute in what promises to be a sustained and intensive commitment to making positive community change. We’ll bring you an update in August.