Summary of Service Learning Projects

Working with schools of all age levels exposed us to the continuum of support and involvement needed by each school, in order to successfully complete their projects. The projects led by high school students feature the greatest level of involvement and independence. In contrast, middle and elementary school students have required a bit more support and direction for their adult partners. Youth still choose the project’s focus and drive the work forward, with the technical, behind-the-scenes support of RJ staff and Portland State University capstone students.

Here are some examples of current service-learning projects in our community.

Lane Middle School

A group of 20 students are making a video on the impact of bullying at Lane, presenting restorative justice as a positive approach to this social problem. Students aim to turn this video into a “living document,” a resource that keeps bullying awareness alive and continues to promote restorative justice in and around the school community. The initial screening and subsequent marketing will reach all 486 students within the school, as well as parents and community members. Lane MS plans on showing the video at parent’s nights and other events thrown by the school throughout the year.

Roseway Heights(A-Day class)

This class of 22 students is creating a documentary showing the impact of the current punitive response to student discipline, while also proposing restorative justice as a better alternative. Students will provide testimonials on how punitive discipline impacts them, show a skit that contrasts punitive and restorative responses, and explain what restorative justice is and why change is needed in the Roseway Heights school community. The school will adopt the film as a lasting resource, used to support the implementation of restorative justice in the school. Initially, the students will present the film at a staff meeting, followed by a screening at an all-school assembly, reaching 616 students. Parents and community members will also receive invitations to attend the screening, expanding the impact this film has on the school and surrounding community.

Roseway Heights(B-Day class)

This class is focusing on the impact of bullying and discrimination at Roseway Heights, creating a proposal for a student-created and youth-led school assembly on these topics. Students are going to present their proposal at a staff meeting, to get approval for putting on the assembly. The students are also recommending that the school hold this assembly annually, led by their Leadership II class. This group includes 23 students, with an anticipated impact of 616 students at the assembly, plus faculty, administrators, parents, and community members. This assembly also provides a forum to show the documentary film created by the “A-Day” class.

Rigler Elementary

This after-school SUN program includes 12 students, who have created an “anti-bullying” anthem and made t-shirts with anti-bullying information and slogans. The students have film-recorded the anthem, and plan to present this video at the Rigler SUN school showcase. The group anticipates a turnout of 75 students, plus their families and other community members. After the showcase, the video will remain within the school, as a resource that increases awareness around bullying.

Lincoln HS

These students wanted to increase the scope of both restorative justice work and their peer mediation program, by approaching West Sylvan Middle School, which feeds into Lincoln. Their plan was to provide introductory RJ exposure and training to West Sylvan students, preparing them to engage in Lincoln’s peer mediation program once in high school. Students attended a West Sylvan staff meeting and proposed their plan of one training with 23 middle school students. After successfully completing this training, the Lincoln students are now planning a second session, which will expand the impact to another 25 students. By bridging the gap between Lincoln and West Sylvan, these students hope to increase RJ awareness among middle school students.

We are currently sponsoring service-learning projects in the following schools across Multnomah County:

Youth Voice Staff Contact

Marc Fernandes
Youth Development Coordinator
(503) 793-1691