The faculty of P.S. 304 has incorporated enrichments clusters into the curriculum, giving students an opportunity to give back to the community and service the needs of others.
Each Friday, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students over a 12-week period are broken up into 1 of 15 themed two-period block clusters of their choice.
“We wanted to bring more enrichment into the school, given the limited resources we have,” said principal Joseph Nobile.
“It is a wonderful combination to do something enriching with the arts and get a result other than a grade. They produced something useful to someone else.”
One of the clusters, led by teacher Diana Illas, was entitled the ‘CANtastic’ Food Drive. Students in this group began a can food drive that spread throughout P.S. 304, the others schools located in the facility, M.S. 101 and P. 10, as well as the surrounding community.
“Each teacher had to come up with a cluster idea, but then I thought it would be a good idea to let them run with it on their own,” said Illas.
“I think they appreciate that they get to help people. We incorporated research into the project and they had to tally and graph the results.”
The group distributed decorated boxes to each classroom, handed out fliers throughout the building and local community.
In total the group collected approximately 1,300 cans, weighing almost a ton, which was donated to City Harvest.
“We handed out and collected the boxes we decorated with all the cans, posted fliers, and sent home letters to let parents know,” said Salimatou Diallo, 8.
“We wanted to help because you see people on the street and they are hungry and we had the food.”
Another cluster, designated the Construction Zone, built five birdhouses that were auctioned off, and the proceeds, totaling $200, were donated to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Fund.
“We are making education more hands on,” said construction zone cluster instructor and science teacher, Anthony Fouchecourt.