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Williamston Community Schools: 27 Years of Taking Service Learning to the Next Level

Posted: 1:55 PM, Mar 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-14 15:25:48-04

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — Over the past 27 years the teachers within the Williamston Community Schools have been working with 4th and 5th graders to provide them with a service-learning opportunity that allows for them to learn not only everything that they need to know about producing a musical but also about giving back to their community.

Last evening FOX 47 visited the first of two performances of The Wizard of Oz. This is a production that has a cast of 4th and 5th graders and over the last nine weeks (including snow days) they have been putting together the musical from start to finish. Not only do you have actors, but every child within 4th and 5th grade has a role. Whether it be in scene design, advertising, or other role, this production truly engages students and allows them to learn in a very practical and meaningful way. On top of all of this, the production is a fundraiser and every year works to raise more money for the Williamston Food Bank. This year alone they have already raised $4,000 to support the work of the local food bank.

We had the opportunity to speak with two teachers that have been working on this production since the beginning as well as one of the actors in the below video. Also, in speaking with other students involved in the production we continually heard the impact that this had on them. One thing that everyone should understand is that though they worked on this for 9 weeks they only used one day during the week to actually get the work done. This musical is definitely a labor of love and in talking to students that have moved on from the elementary school the musical ends up being one of the highlights of their elementary education experience.