On November 17, the fourth graders at Independence Primary School took a field trip to the Hunger Network and Front Steps as part of their reading of the book Crenshaw, written by Katherine Applegate. The book explores the impact of poverty on families and the community. After reading the book, students wanted to do something for others in their own geographic area that may be in a similar situation to the characters in the book.
Working with the school’s cultural committee, the school aligned this field trip with grade-level standards to make IPS students aware of differences in the world. “We were excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Hunger Network and Front Steps to tour their facilities and provide them with donations collected from IPS families,” said Principal T.J. Ebert, Independence Primary School.
While simultaneously reading the book, students wrote responses to reflect on various themes presented in the novel. For example, the family fell into hard times and struggled financially and IPS students felt empathy for the characters. During class discussions, they wanted to create an action plan to help those who are less fortunate. Knowing basic needs of shelter and food in neighboring communities are limited, they decided to gather donations to make a difference.
“The type of learning that occurred through connecting the reading of this book with taking this field trip emphasizes how we can take a complex real-world problem to help our students learn and prepare for citizenship and work in today’s society,” said Ebert.