Middle School

Service Learning at Oakview Middle School

By Sarah Manzo

Oakview Middle School started the Positivity Project journey with our entire staff and student body. Throughout the year, students became versed in the language and traits of the Positivity Project. We kicked off each trait on Mondays during our advisory period and then continued the conversation every day in a core subject area.

As the year progressed, the staff decided to celebrate a successful year one practicing the motto, #otherpeoplematter with a service project. With the addition of a service-learning grant, our culmination project was an all school, two-part service-learning project.

What started as a pie in the sky feeling, turned into reality as two staff members took the reins of the project and we knocked it out of the park! This event was a monumental project that influenced a number of senior citizens in our community. Twenty-five students from each grade (6, 7, 8) visited a different senior center. They played bingo, did puzzles, gave manicures, played card games, delivered blankets, and painted birdhouses. In preparation, the four weeks leading up to the event, all students were involved with making the blankets, collecting donations, and setting the stage for the actual visit. The conversations that were had before, during and after our event are priceless. The smiles and laughs that we saw brought tears to many.  This truly was a life changing experience for all involved.

The video below captures the true essence of the day and was put together by one of our teachers. I watched it full of pride for our students and our staff!

The second part of the project was a field trip for the senior citizens! The seniors came to Oakview to see our students in their element. Approximately, 50 students showed their talents by acting in a theatre performance, singing in the choir, and playing in the Dragon Scales Jazz Band. This paved the way for even more meaningful connections for our students as well as the senior citizens.

Throughout the year, students could be heard talking about the traits at lunch, in classrooms, and in the hallway, but little did Oakview know that #otherpeoplematter would have such an impact on our year.

Sarah Manzo
Principal, Oakview Middle School

Sarah Manzo is the Principal of Oakview Middle School in Lake Orion Michigan.  She has been in education for 25 years.  Her experience has taken her from elementary to high school, where she has been a teacher and an administrator.  Throughout her career, she has made it her mission to build relationships with families and focus on the social and emotional needs of her students.  Sarah is a mother of two multisport athletes and the wife of a coach.  You can always see her at some sporting event!  Sarah enjoys reading and spending time with her family.