Amesbury - 5th Grade - Passionate About Places

Amesbury Teacher Karen Brannelly: Passionate About Places

Fifth grade teacher Karen Brannelly helped her students replace a traditional research project with an innovative service experience that connected the children to their community.  Students conducted Internet-based research, created invitations, learned about proper interviewing skills from the Newburyport Daily News, and perfected their word-processing skills to prepare for “Community Partner Day” when they met in groups with eight different local organizations to interview them about their impact on the community and brainstorm service opportunities. 

Patty Hoyt, Education Coordinator of Lowell’s Boat Shop, one of the community partners, praised the students’ preparation and the program, saying that it allows children to “understand the true value of research for information that has meaning to them.”

Students were very excited that this research was “different than learning things in books.”  One student remarked, “It is so great to be interviewing real people and finding out about our community.” Another student observed, “If kids have a voice in the community people could listen to it.  Kids actually have good ideas.”  This gets to the heart of their teacher’s hope for this project: that the community as a whole will become strengthened as students and adults learn from each other.  Students implemented service projects for their partner organizations as a culmination of their research.

Read the article from the Newburyport Daily News.