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High school citizenship classes - March 2009
Claude High School
Two high school citizenship classes in Claude schools are being recognized as the Celebrate Education March Class Act for demonstrating hands-on learning.
Teacher Rebecca Yelverton said the class objective is community-based projects, but her goal is to teach students there is life beyond them.
"We need to put ourselves aside and do something for other people," she said. "Believe me, that is not an easy lesson."
Students bake cookies, chat with residents and play Wii on visits to the Palo Duro Nursing Home.
"This really gives the residents something to look forward to," said Jami Conrad of Palo Duro Nursing Home.
The Class Act recognition acknowledges outstanding achievement in education. The classes were presented a $200 check from the Amarillo Globe-News' Celebrate Education initiative.
Instead of reading a history textbook, students also researched owners of historic Claude buildings and interviewed them.
"The kids went to the tax office and looked up all the record books," Yelverton said. "That alone got them into the courthouse talking with the tax assessor - these kids didn't even have a clue about paying taxes."
Yelverton said the students' research is in the process of being put on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia with articles contributed by volunteers.
"One student interviewed the owner of the old movie theater and they were showing Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds,'" said Yelverton.
"They told a story of how boys threw live chickens from a balcony on all the people during the movie."
The citizenship classes also conducted a mock election for Claude's kindergarten through 12th grade.
"I tell them a goal and it is up to them to decide how to accomplish it," Yelverton said.
Students set up a voting booth, informed parents and created visual necklaces with pictures of the candidates as a voting tool.
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