To Contact This Program
The BEST Program (Building Educational Success Together)
Molly Quinn Philbin
425 North Washington Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
The mayor of the city of Scranton's vision is "To Restore the Pride." Wanting to support the mayor‚ The BEST Program partnered with the city and the Everhart Museum to help to restore the pride through a project that involved 50 students‚ 6 businesses‚ and 10 teachers. The students approached the businesses to see if they would welcome them into their work place to interview various workers to find out how what they are learning about in school applies to real-life situations in the work place. Following the interviews the students developed a standards-based lesson plan that pertained to the work done at the given business. Following the creation of the plan the students worked with their teacher to create a "dramatic" skit to teach the lesson. They performed the skit for their parents‚ the general public and businesses at the local museum. Part of the presentation included a student performed original tune called "Scranton Comeback" that kicked off the evening. Later‚ copies of the appropriate lesson plan‚ along with an explanation of the partnership‚ were placed in the lobbies of each business so employees could take one home to work on with their children.
Number of Students Involved in This Activity: Six to ten
Range of Student Ages: Eleven to fourteen years old
Duration of Activity: Preparation Time: 12-15 hours‚ Performance Time: One hour
What is the academic content of this activity?
The academic content of the activity differs depending on the businesses students visit. For example‚ one group visited a bank and developed a lesson plan for learning the difference between simple and compound interest and how to calculate each. Another group visited a farm and wrote their lesson plan about comparing the quality of fresh food in a grocery store to that in a local farmers market based on the point of origin of each (this involves learning how far the product has to travel‚ how long from harvest to shelf‚ etc.). The lesson plans also list which Pennsylvania state standards are addressed.
How does this activity create strong relationships?
Students of different ages work together to develop a lesson plan based on interviews with various working personnel under the guidance of a certified teacher. They work together to create a timeline‚ questions for the interviewee‚ a lesson plan and ultimately a public presentation of their plan in a friendly format that explains the lesson to parents‚ grandparents‚ business persons‚ other students‚ and the general public. Their plans then hang in the lobbies of the appropriate business and are shared within the district.
What opportunities are there for authentic decision making?
This activity provides excellent opportunities for authentic decision-making by participants who develop a lesson plan based on real-life interviews of people in business.
What student leadership opportunities are there?
All students who participated had the opportunity to meet and to interview public figures. The occasion allowed them to see themselves as interactive members of their community with a voice; a prerequisite to leadership. In addition‚ the students acted as leaders by sharing their recently-discovered information with the general public in a public arena followed by a small reception. The mayor‚ the school board‚ and the business leaders all attended the presentation and met with the students.