5th Grade Takes on Community Improvement Projects with Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Program

This semester, fifth graders at The Museum School tackled a variety of community improvement projects. Working with guidelines from the Roots and Shoots program, students met every Monday during Unit to observe and map their community of Avondale Estates, identify projects, and brainstorm solutions.

“I’m really excited to be able to do something to improve our community.”
– Sophia Sanchez (student)

5th Grade walking tour of Avondale to identify areas of improvement

Early in the semester, students embarked on a walking expedition of the City of Avondale Estates. Clipboards in hand, fifth graders took notes on ways they could improve their community. Identified projects include:

  • Sidewalk Improvement near the school
  • Free Little Pantry, helping those in need
  • Community Beautification and Pollinator Rehabilitation
  • Community Recycling Centers with Recycling and Trash Reclamation Services
  • Community Dog Park and support for LifeLine Animal Rescue
  • Community Skate Park / Recreation Center
  • Recycled Soda Bottle Greenhouse

“Sometimes people and animals just need help.  I want to do the things they need to help them.”
– Noah Ramsey (student)

Classroom work included:

  • Brainstorming ideas for community improvement
  • Students observe and map their community
  • Identify community and non-profit collaborators
  • Students develop and present project proposals to community collaborators and officials
  • Students implement campaign plans
  • Measure project impact on community

“The best part of this Roots to Shoots campaign, is watching the students become engaged about their community and get excited as they become the positive changes they want to see in their world!”
–  Brian Abernathy (teacher)

To culminate the semester-long service learning project, 5th Grade hosted a Roots and Shoots Community Festival at The Museum School. Students were able to present their projects to the community, get petitions signed, and raise money for their causes.

“I appreciate the Roots and Shoots framework for guiding students through the process of recognizing the deficits in their community, and giving them the concrete tools they need to address them.”   – Catie Eisel-Elder (teacher)


Free Little Pantry

Community Recycling Center

During the community festival, the Trash and Recycling team raised $26, which will cover an additional trash can which kids will paint to keep TMS beautiful outside!

Sidewalk Improvement

Through a bake sale, the Sidewalk Improvement team raised over $250 to pay for labor and supplies to fix the sidewalks in their community. Through research, students learned that they will need approval from DeKalb County, and created a petition to prove support for the project.

Avondale Skate Park

This high-energy group wanted to build a skate park in Avondale Estates (lovingly dubbed “Avondale Eskates”)! We worked through the process of thinking through a business plan, reached out to potential community partners and investors, and drafted a sample skate park layout. We are continuing to gather signatures for a petition to the City to advocate for the need for youth recreation in and near Avondale Estates. At our community event, students hosted scooter races and obstacle course contests, blasted tunes, and informed people about their desire for a skate recreation area, as well as began collecting signatures for the petition to the City.

Pollinator Garden

Avondale Dog Park

The Dog-a-Thon group wanted to provide an opportunity for people to get together and have fun with their dogs! The students included a doggie obstacle course, a photo-booth, doggie treat bake sale, soda floats for humans, and a doggie costume contest. Proceeds will benefit LifeLine. Students also distributed information about pet adoption and the importance of spay and neutering and had people complete a survey to research interest in an Avondale dog park. 

Community Garden

Recycled Bottle Greenhouse

Send in your empty 2 liter bottles! 5th grade will be collecting materials and begin greenhouse construction this summer.

“Roots and Shoots is cool because it lets us help Avondale become better and prettier and all that kind of stuff.” – Kai Solivan (student)

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