Volunteering serves as replacement for conventional curriculum in Henry Castillo’s CSN English 101 Instead of writing essays, students will be doing an outreach project in order to make a difference in their community

Signing up to volunteer for the final exam project sheet in English 101, senior Regan Thomas begins creating her rubric. Students can decide which organization they would like to volunteer for or send a care package if they chose to do outreach. “For this project, I decided to reach out to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This organization raises money and awareness towards people living with type one diabetes,” Thomas said. “I am really excited for this project because I love getting involved with the community and giving back through community service. I know with this project I will positively impact a large number of people and make a true difference in this community.” Photo Credit: Gurleen Swaich
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With this semester coming to an end, students in Henry Castillo’s English 101 class are working on a final exam outreach project.

“A lot of the reasoning behind this project is that students up to this point have been focused on themselves with the essays they have composed,” Castillo said. “Now we want to focus on others and that is the overall spirit of this project. I hope that students can see the practical impact of an English course that doesn’t focus solely on work that is turned in on a particular submit link on Canvas and then they walk away. Rather I want them to have work that is meaningful and that has been consistent with all of the projects.” 

For this project, students must work individually or with a partner to either volunteer with a non-profit organization of their liking or create artwork. Focusing on their personal identity throughout the year for scholarship and college essays, this project is geared to make a lasting impact on the community. 

“My partner Madison and I decided to do an art project for our English exam and we want to discuss the unfair standards that are placed on women, and more specifically Black women and non-binary people such as myself,” senior Ana Gonzalez said. “How for Black women they are constantly having to prove their femininity and how non-binary people are constantly not being taken seriously. We hope to open people’s eyes to the unfair treatment of WOC and non-binary people as well with the price we plan to create.”

Set as a self-paced project, students have set deadlines, but will create their own rubric for Castillo to grade their final presentation, which is due on December 6. 

“I like this project because it allows me to go out into the community and help others while exposing myself to real issues in the world,” senior April Talaro said. “It was difficult to find an organization I wanted to work with, but overall I’m glad I found that fits my criteria.”

Many students enjoy having to do something other than an essay and are putting in effort to make a difference in their community. 

“My partner Chastynne and I are going to reach out to the Ronald McDonald House Charities,” senior Shinikee Garcia said. “We are excited to be able to support those in need, especially kids who are experiencing difficult health issues. Because of COVID-19, we have realized that health is a priority and we are passionate in making sure that those in our community can receive medical treatment.”

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