Groundwork Student Work
Notes from P.S. 260 and P.S. 328
(District 19 - East New York, Brooklyn)

summer 2003

Penny Harvest
As part of a program-wide community service project, Groundwork students raised $760 in pennies from their friends and neighbors in just 10 days.  After voting on how to use the funds, the students decided to donate the money to Help USA, a nonprofit that helps homeless families in New York City and other cities across the U.S.  Students also did hands-on community service projects such as playground and community garden rehabilitation.

“The students from Groundwork raised lots of pennies for the penny harvest.  All classes participated in the penny harvest, so all classes got awards.  Brad’s group raised the most pennies.  Sabrina’s class raised forty-two dollars and seventeen cents.  The penny harvest is going to help homeless people.  The penny harvest has helped many people with their lives.” -Shawntasia



Groundwork Goes Camping

(excerpt from Groundwork Summer 2003 Newsmagazine)
“On July 17 a bunch of Groundwork students and staff went on a two-day camping trip to Camp Pouch in Staten Island.  When we arrived at camp we went on a hike.  On the hike we found a dragonfly, a spider, worms, a baby frog, and a caterpillar.  We brought the bugs and animals back to the camp site so the other kids and staff could witness them.  Back at the camp site the spider had a baby.  After researching the creatures we set up to go boating.  On the lake we saw fish, an endangered bird, lilly pads, and seaweed.  After row boating we made dinner.  We made hot dogs and vegetarian beans.  Then we roasted marshmallows for a snack.  After that we went to sleep.  In the morning we washed up and made breakfast.  After breakfast we cleaned and packed up to get ready to leave.  We left camp very clean.”
-Jarel, Grade 7


Students, interns and staff from P.S. 260 in front of Boston University dorm

Groundwork students learn about sea life at the New England Aquarium

Boston Trip
Groundwork students and staff visited famous historical sites and museums during a 3-day trip to Boston.  Over 200 elementary, middle, and high school students attended the trip.  Students and staff stayed in dorms on Boston University’s west campus.  While our elementary and middle school students were visiting sites including the African-American Historical Museum, the Freedom Trail, the New England Aquarium, the Children’s Museum, and Museum of Science, Groundwork’s high school student interns did a tour of Boston area colleges and universities.


Book Review: The Elevator Duck, by Polly Berrien What would you do if you found a duck in your building?
(excerpt from Groundwork Summer 2003 Newsmagazine)
“I would take the duck in my house.  It might not have anywhere to go or have anything to eat.  The duck might not feel at home so I will pour some water in the bathroom tub.  I would take very good care of the duck.”
-Rio, Grade 3
“I would give it to the police so that the police could find its owner for me.  It would make the owner feel good to get his duck back.”
-Kenneth, Grade 2
“I will try to find the owner.  I will leave it in my house.  When I found the owner s/he might be happy.  While he is there I will feed him.  I found the owner!  It is a girl.  She is happy.  I did not want the duck to be alone.”
Reflections on Freedom
(excerpt from Groundwork Summer 2003 Newsmagazine)
“Living happy everyday
Violence is over
I am happy now
No more listening to masters
Going where you want to go
Learn what you want to learn
In every city people are happy
Equal rights”
--Damali, Grade 5

“Once upon a time not so long ago people were separate for many reasons.  In many different times and places people were treated as lower class humans.  Despite all this, there were people willing to fight for their freedom.  One example is Nelson Mandela.  He fought for the rights of the South Africans.  Other people suffered in India because of their rank in the caste system.  Some people were treated as dogs.  They had to pick waste from the streets.  Ghandi was a man who starved himself for the sake of his people.  Many people died to bring freedom to their people.  Would you do the same?  What does this mean to you?  Think about it.”
--Johnny, Grade 7
Worlds’ Great Rap.  It is Positive. 
--Courtney, Grade 6, and Brian, Grade 6
“I am finally free to be good.  Getting my education.  Open the door to millions of kids. Eating healthy everywhere they go.  Being strong never letting anyone turn them down.  Staying smart.  Keeping those grades up.  Doing what I can do.  It’s nice to see them growing up to be a man or a woman.  The older they get the smarter they are.  They raise their symbol for the millions of kids that keep the tradition going.”

Notes from P.S. 328
(District 19 - East New York, Brooklyn)

spring 2003

2nd and 3rd graders learned to play the recorder as part of a unit on jazz.
Several students performed “Mary Had a Little Lamb” at our Spring Celebration event.

9 to 11 year olds performed “We Shall Overcome” at Spring Celebration.

2nd and 3rd graders performed “This Land is Your Land” at Spring Celebration,
lead by two student conductors.

Completed “Footsteps to Freedom” Mural (by 9 to 11 year old groups).


AFTER READING WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendack, 2nd and 3rd graders made moveable puppets to create their own wild thing creatures. They also wrote about the characteristics of their wild things.

IN PREPARATION FOR OUR ’03 TRIP TO BOSTON, Groundwork’s theme for the year was “In Search of Freedom.” Our 9 to 11 year olds (primarily 4th and 5th grades) worked with teaching artists from Studio in a School to create a permanent mixed-media art installation for P.S. 328. The art installation incorporated the theme “footsteps to freedom."


AS AN INTRODUCTION TO THEIR FALL READING WORKSHOP, 2nd and 3rd graders wrote original stories based on topics they identified through an interest inventory. Below is a page from “The Alligator Hunt,” by Fabion, Grade 3.

OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL GROUP (6th and 7th grades) coordinated the production of the spring 2003 edition of the Groundwork News Magazine. At right is an excerpt from the newsmagazine article: Cory Booker Talks Politics with Future Voters.

"...The voting (special election at PS 328) began at 5:00am, and was still going on at 4:00pm but only seven people came out to vote. Only seven. That is a very poor turn out.... We spoke to people in the
community and found that they did not have any information or knowledge about the election... Cory Booker believes that each vote makes a difference and every vote counts. The only wrong thing about voting is not voting."

by Zelma and Startia, Grade 6