Students Stories

January 8, 2020

SCL Students Attend Renewable Energy Day at Indiana Statehouse



The SCL Middle School showed their support for renewable energy policy when they visited the Statehouse today. Students had the opportunity to meet with Senator Greg Taylor, State Representative Greg Porter, and congressional candidiate Jennifer Christie. Thank you to these leaders for connecting with our young people to learn about their concerns for our future!

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October 28, 2019

SCL Students Build Permaculture Garden

As a sustainability-based school, we are teaching our students to grow food and attract pollinators. Thank you to Ellie Blaine, Kevin Allison and Jen Spinosa for helping us plant our garden this fall!

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May 17, 2017

Spring Day of Service 2017

Our annual spring day of service was May 12, and we were blown away by the work that our students completed. They were investigators, mathematicians, foragers, gardeners, inspectors, and researchers.

The students divided into four interest groups: energy use, air/soil quality, green cleaners, and edible gardening. Students in group one did an energy audit of the school. They did an inventory of all the lightbulbs in our school and then calculated how much energy they each use. They also collected survey data from students about their water use at home. To finish out their day, they made reminders about ways to save energy to hang around the school.

In the morning, students in group two worked with two experts from the Indiana Department of Health to conduct air testing throughout the school. In the afternoon, they collected soil samples from several areas on our school grounds.

Group three researched the cleaners that are used in our school each day and learned about the benefits of using green or natural cleaning products. They spent the afternoon making samples of homemade, vinegar based multi-purpose cleaner for each student to take home with them.

Finally, students in group four planted an edible garden outside of our K-1 classroom, with the help of school parent Diana Gibbons, and spent the afternoon foraging for edible and medicinal plants on our school grounds with experts from White Pine Wilderness Academy.

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April 24, 2017

Eco-Science Fair 2017

This year, we had 10 students participate in the statewide Eco-Science Fair. Two of our students, Riley in 4th grade and Mackenzie in 5th grade, won FIRST PLACE in their respective age groups. Congratulations to our teachers, students, and their families on this amazing accomplishment!

Check out this video posted to WFYI’s Facebook that highlights some of the Eco Science Fair projects. At the 1:40 mark you can see our very own Sam, 5th grade, explaining his project on algae energy. Below that, you’ll see the video of our whole school cheering on the Eco Science Fair participants as they arrived back at school. We are so proud of the work our students have put into these projects for the last several months. Can’t wait until next year’s Eco-Science Fair!


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January 18, 2017

MLK Day of Service, Part 1 - Reflections

In preparation for our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, students selected their favorite Dr. King quote and reflected on the meaning of it. Several students presented these reflections at our whole school meeting to kick off our Day of Service.

Abby, grade 8
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”
To me this Quote means we all may have different skin colors, or have different religions, or may come from different places, but we are all in the same sorta place right now. We all have to follow the same laws and we all have the same rights as an American citizen (supposedly). So that’s what I think Martin Luther King Jr. day is all about- realizing that we may have a different background and have different circumstances but we all live in the same country and we all want to have peace in our country (you would hope).

Marcela, grade 7
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
I interpret this as only when something horrible is happening, do people stand up and shine. Only when darkness and hate hang over us like dark clouds, do we stand up from our seats and spread our love. We worry about ‘what if this happens’ and ‘what if that happens’, but we do not realize the clouds coming until they are already above us. When we realize this darkness, we feel inspired to do something. Something meaningful. There is a whole lot of darkness in the night sky, but when you look up, you see all of the stars shining. To me Martin Luther King Day is about someone stood up and saw the clouds rumbling over him and, instead of asking what ifs, began to shine. He inspired others to get up and spread their love, that way when the clouds came they were ready for them.  He turned our world around and so today, I too, can shine.

Skylar, grade 6
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
Loving someone can make you so glad, but hate for someone makes you mad yourself. We might not like a lot of people, or just one person; they might send a bad vibe or be mean . We might even call them our enemies. But we should not be mean to them. They are human too.  If we kill them with kindness they might be nice to us too. If we love them they might just feel that love and know they are safe. They might even change, in the best way possible. They might just love you too. Love is a powerful thing. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a very wise man.  He knew that love was the most important thing in the world. I just want you to know that everybody has a good side to them, you just have to find it. They might just be your friend.

Seth, grade 8
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
This quote to me means that hatred can degrade you, and that loving something is a lot easier to do and can improve you as a person. This quote basically exemplifies his movement as a whole. His movement was about love, loving all people.  This quote is the exactly the same. Instead of hating people who thought people of color should not be equals, he chose to do peaceful protest to change their mindset. He did extremely powerful speeches to get his ideas out to the public. In the end hatred achieves nothing. If he were to have decided to go down the path of hatred, he would have never made an impact at all.

Arielle, grade 4
“The function of education is to teach one to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
I think School for Community Learning teaches both intelligence and character. One reason is that I think School for Community Learning shows intelligence and character is that they teach some of the 5th grade work to the 4th graders.
Another way that School for Community Learning teaches intelligence and character is that they give students a chance of their own points of views.
The last reason why I think School for Community Learning teaches both intelligence and character is that they have Passions which is a way to pick between many picks’ about what you would like to do for 1 hour every Tuesday and Thursday.
Now you know why I think School for Community Learning teaches intelligence and character.

Christina, grade 4
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says that the function of education is to tech one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education.”
I think that SCL teaches both academic thinking and character.
One reason SCL is smaller than other schools because we only have 4 teachers and classes are combined and we teach community because we share rooms.
A reason SCL teaches character is by doing good projects like making a compost bucket our of empty water jugs for the whole school. The jugs are made of plastic so we are reusing things that you could just recycle and forget about.
Lastly, we have good community by rules not to leave others our of a game or friend group. They also teach us responsibility by making sure every wrong is right.
SCL is connected by size.
SCL teaches community by difference.
SCL teaches responsibility by good projects.
SCL teaches us intelligence and character by connection, community and last, responsibility.

Myra, grade 5
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
How I think School for Community Learning fulfills MLK’s quote is we teach both character and intelligence.
One reason I think our teachers and staff are kind and understanding is because when someone forgot their homework then the teacher and student will decide what to do, then the student brings back the homework the next day. This is why I think the teachers and staff at our school and kind and understanding.
Secondly we have been taught to be understanding and have manners because the teachers are understanding and act polite, so we do the same. This is a reason why I think we have manners and good understanding.
Lastly even if we don’t like some people we still treat each other with respect and treat each other like a community because we have been taught to care and be kind and accept what happens. This is the reason why I think we treat each other with respect and treat each other like a community.

Chioh, grade 5
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
You ask me many questions about this quote. I will say I agree with it very much and I think School for Community Learning applies to this well. Let me tell you why.
One, I think our learning curriculum supports and has students thinking critically. That is because the School for Community Learning puts us in scenarios where we need to really think how to handle this situation. That is the first reason why I think School for Community Learning applies to MLK’s quote very well.
Two, the way SCL teaches let’s students express their emotions in a way the teacher understands. That way the student can give kindness to the community and the community can give that kindness to other communities and so on. That is my second reason I think SCL (School for Community Learning) applies to MLK’s quote very well.
Three and finally, the reason we teach so peaceful and calmly is to let students see there’s a way to be intelligent with character. For the past three years I’ve been here, when a teacher puts their hands on a student it’s to comfort or greet a student. By this way students can become polite. That way students can build character very well. Overall I think School for Community Learning applies to the way MLK thought teaching should be.

Lennon, grade 4
Do you know MLK? Well in one of his quotes he said “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character.” I am going to tell you how School for Community Learning is fulfilling that quote.
They helped me find my passion. SCL helped me find stuff I liked. I have a more stuff to do that I’ve never tried before. Passions is always fun and hard. Clearly, passions is character and intelligence.
They are really nice and are always helping kids. They are always there for us. They care for us and our health. They help us when we are struggling. Clearly, they are fulfilling MLK’s quote.
They help us be good people in life. They always tell us to be kind to one and other. They don’t yell at us unless they have to. We have reflections to think back on our favorite part of mistakes so we can change it tomorrow. Clearly they are teach us to be good people. In conclusion, I think SCL is fulfilling MLK’s quote.

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January 18, 2017

MLK Day of Service, Part 2 - Activities

On Monday, January 16, students at School for Community Learning participated in the 5th annual schoolwide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Each class completed a service project to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.

The Early Primary (Kindergarten+1 grade) class visited American Village Senior Living Center and completed an art project with the residents.

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The Primary class (2+3 grade) went to the Martin Luther King Community Center in the morning to decorate the center for their coat and family kit drive. In the afternoon, they made bandannas to send to the dogs and cats at the Humane Society.

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The Intermediate class (4+5 grade) received a presentation about aboriginal technology & indigenous culture from Amos and Carter with White Pine Wilderness Academy this morning. After that, they made blankets to send to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

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The Middle School (6-8 grade) decided to use the morning to show gratitude to our public safety personnel. They delivered some treats to the crew at Indianapolis Fire Department Station 14 and Butler Police Department as a way of saying “thank you.” In the afternoon, they participated in the 3rd Annual MLK Love Walk hosted by Bust the B.U.B.B.L.E., a student organization focused on amplifying the voices of students of color at predominantly white institutions of higher learning. The Love Walk started at Butler University and ended at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis, where a discussion about the work of Dr. King immediately followed.

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Service and community engagement are at the core of our school’s philosophy, so we take this opportunity to remember Dr. King’s legacy and reflect on his message of organizing and taking action.

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December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 at SCL

This year was our 2nd Annual Buddy Thanksgiving meal and it was just as delicious and joyful as it was last year. Our buddy classes (Early Primary + Intermediate, Primary + Middle School) planned the meal from start to finish and it was a great success. They decided what dishes to make, measured out ingredients needed, scheduled cook times for the dishes and served the meal to their fellow students. We can’t wait until next year!
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October 28, 2016

Hands On Civics Lessons

This fall, our middle school students immersed themselves in civics lessons.  While studying local government in August, we had a special guest, City Councilor Monroe Gray, come to our classroom to share his experience as a city-county councilor. Students learned from a firsthand account what the city council does, how it interacts with other government officials, and about city government as a whole.

After his lecture, students asked him questions and had a lengthy discussion about his position and how they can make their voice heard.  Not too many middle school students have the opportunity to be taught by a city-county councilor for a day, and we are so grateful for this experience.

As the semester carried on and Election Day neared, we thought it would be valuable for students to learn about the voting process.  Russell Hollis, Deputy Clerk at the Marion County Clerk’s Office, visited the class to explain how voting works. The best part, of course, was the voting machine he brought with him.  Our students couldn’t vote in the presidential race this year, but they had a blast filling out their ballots and practicing for 2020 and 2024.

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April 15, 2016

Eco Science Fair 2016

Congratulations to the sixteen 4th-8th graders that represented SCL at this year’s state-wide Eco Science Fair!  Everyone did a great job.  An extra congratulations to Sam Harrington, who received 3rd place in his age division!IMG_3061 IMG_3062 IMG_3063 IMG_3064 IMG_3065 IMG_3066 IMG_3067 IMG_3068 IMG_3069 IMG_3070 IMG_3072 IMG_3078

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February 3, 2016

Robotics team @ VEX Robotics Competition

On Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 23rd and 24th SCL’s two Robotics Teams participated in the county-wide VEX Robotics Competition sponsored by the Mayor’s office. It was held this year in the Indianapolis Convention Center.

About 200 elementary, middle and high school teams competed.

The El-LEDZ driving team consisting of Desiree Clay, Kaylee Clay and Sam Harrington placed 13th out of more than 30 elementary teams in the VEX IQ division. Chioh Mmafrika and Maya Sylvester were not able to join us but made real contributions during the design, creation and practice phases of the season.

The middle school team of Abby Clay, Devlin DeFosse, Esmee Harp, Jenna Clay, Layth Abdulbari, and Una Dunigan did an outstanding job as well. The LEDz team competed in the high school VEX VRC division and placed 14th of more than 60 teams. They were the ONLY middle school team to place so highly.

In November this same group competed in a different competition in Bloomington, IN and placed in the semi-finals.

This was the first year that SCL has had an elementary team and all of the middle school team were brand new to Robotics with one exception from last year’s team, Jenna Clay.

For BOTH of our teams to do so well is remarkable – especially with the limited resources and experience of our students.

We should all be incredibly proud of what the teams accomplished.

Mr. Nick who coached the El-LEDz and Mr. Chris that coached the middle school teams certainly are.

GOOD JOB, Robotics Teams!

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