Walton Central School librarian Barb Geidel was discussing Engage New York lessons during social studies with her fourth-grade students. Engage New York is a website by the New York State United Teachers that offers resources for parents and teachers.
One of the lessons WCS students learned was about a fourth-grade class at Byron-Bergen Elementary School and how they researched what New York was known for. In turn they campaigned to make the state’s official snack.
That inspired Walton students, giving them the idea that they could make a difference Geidel wrote to Chobani about the campaign that resulted in their product becoming New York’s official snack, and the company kindly sent yogurt, hats, and coupons to share among the fourth- and fifth-grade classes.
When students return from the winter holiday break, they will start a campaign of their own. Fourth graders will be researching state representatives, and fifth graders will research federal representatives. They will then embark on a letter-writing campaign to address the inequity of broadband services in rural areas.
With remote learning being a big part of the COVID pandemic, this issue has been brought to the forefront of education and the students are engaged in how they might be able to participate in the governmental process to try and create change.
In the photo, Cynthia Harrington’s fourth-grade class poses with the hats sent by Chobani.