Be the Change Week

Be the Change Week is an exciting week of interdisciplinary service that occurs twice a year in Grades 6-9.  For each of these weeks, teachers co-develop projects based upon student interests.  

Students are re-organized into projects of their choice with students across grades 6-9.   During the project week, students investigate the issue of their choice through research, field trips, and learning from guest speakers, create a project  plan, and develop a product to share with the school community.  All of the projects have a service-based component -- fundraising for different organizations, creating something that has an impact on the school community or larger community, The week culminates in a showcase where students share their projects with the school community.  

The goals of Be the Change Week are to:

  • Engage students in self-directed, service-learning based projects that connect real-world, relevant issues to BAL’s Core Values and service opportunities that impact an organization or outreach program in the local or global community.

  • Continue to develop community across grades 6-9 through authentic student and teacher collaboration.

  • Use collaborative learning strategies and innovative instructional techniques to structure thematic learning that drives students acquisition of content and skill.

  • Create spaces to celebrate student learning, collaboration, and community activism around issues that are important and relevant to students, teachers and staff members at BAL

Some of the Be the Change Week projects students participated in include:

  • Mott Haven Activism: Students investigated gentrification in the South Bronx and created public service announcement to educate the community.

  • Good Morning, BAL!: Students visited NBC studios, and then create the first BAL news broadcast. Students conducted interviews and produced the entire new video themselves!

  • Round Room Mural: Students examined how art can be used to create social change by examining the work of Keith Haring. Then, they created a mural in his style for our school community.

  • Climate Change Reality: During this project, students attended the United Nations Climate Change summit and created original board games, graphic novels, and books to share with pre-school students about climate change.

  • Forgotten Stories: After visiting local nursing homes, students created their own “Humans of New York” style scrapbooks to share the memories of community members who have been in the Bronx for most of their lives.

  • Protest Through Music: Listening to music was only one part of this project. Students examined music throughout history and learned how it has been used as a form of protest and catalyst for social change. Then, students wrote, recorded and edited an original song and music video protesting gang violence in the community.