Montgomery School’s Make.a.Difference project is an intensive, yearlong 8th grade project in which students focus on a person or organization who has made a positive difference in the world. Completed as part of the language arts curriculum, the project involves extensive research, report writing, letter writing, reflection, community service, technology, the arts, and oral presentation skills. Included in the final display are a collection of artifacts, a visual display, and a toolbox which includes items that the person or organization would use to make a positive difference.
Beyond all of the excellent academic skills practiced during the completion of this project, students find that the experience changes them personally as well. Each student is asked to give time to their organization in the form of a hands on volunteer activity. In her final reflection paper, another student explained the experience this way, “This project has made a huge difference in my life and has taught me what to treasure the most. In the future, I hope to fundraise even more, get involved as a volunteer and even help individuals or families in my community that may be struggling with intellectual disabilities and just need someone to talk to. I am so glad that I was introduced to Make A Difference, and I will continue to carry the lessons I learned from it with me throughout my entire life.”
On the day that the Make a Difference project is presented, the eighth grade students speak to Montgomery students from younger grade levels who visit their table and display, they also present to faculty members, and in the evening, to parents and the larger community.