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AP Service Learning Projects

Kennedy students’ community and global outreach
Christine Chung
A AP with WE Workbooks used by students in AP Environmental Science

John F. Kennedy High School’s AP With WE program utilizes student citizenship through executed projects to help the community and to educate at a global level.  The AP With WE program was started by AP teacher Jennifer Richard-Gantka to push students to help serve their community and to help students complete their service learning projects.

Several other advanced placement teachers participate in this program to engage their students in educating and influencing the public outside of school and or community.  While not all AP classes are involved, the APs that are involved in Richard Gantka’s AP program are “AP Environmental Science, AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, and AP Computer Science Principles,” stated Richard-Gantka.

The prior classes begin their planning in the spring semester each year, beginning with creating a detailed description of common issues and solutions related to their project topic.  Students then choose a project to complete and start on an action plan, which is a file of assorted papers that will ultimately be turned into the AP board and counted towards Kennedy students’ required service learning project.  

The themes that each classes’ students participate in remain the same but the ideas that the students produce to combat the given issue change each year.  For example, in AP Environmental Science, students are completing service learning projects through helping environmental issues such as the loss of biodiversity in the students’ communities and in some form, globally.  AP Psychology students are completing a project in regards to mental health, both locally and globally.

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Sophomore Emma Kamel stated, “In AP Psychology, we are working on a project to help individuals deal with mental health, which I think is really important because it is an issue occurring globally that is not commonly talked about.”

In previous years AP Human Geography students’ focus was on helping reduce the amount of food insecurity that is experienced both locally and globally.  The majority of the students have participated in organizing food can drives in exchange for community service hours, which were then handed off to the students’ distributors of choice.  

A local solution for AP Environmental Science could include helping to increase the population of a certain species that may interest a student while a possible solution for AP Psychology could be to create a website or fundraise to help support an up and running cause.  

AP With We is an opportunity for students to take action by helping to serve their community and educate others at a global level with the proper support, supplied by teachers at Kennedy High School.

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