Students from Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School, Springfield, NJ teamed up with Seton Hall Secondary Education students on an interdisciplinary curriculum program called Project Citizen. Project Citizen allows middle schoolers to research community, statewide and nationwide issues, formulate solutions, as well as create action plans for implementing their solutions. The middle school groups addressed PARCC testing, drone usage, unsafe drinking water, and hate crimes. Throughout the semester, SHU students from various education disciplines consulted online with the middle schoolers in preparation the statewide Project Citizen competition.
In May, Gaudineer students from Ms. Davis' and Ms. Hernandez's classes had the opportunity to visit Seton Hall's campus and give presentations to the SHU students. The secondary education majors acted as judges, replicating the actual state competition. One of the secondary education majors, Kaitlyn Quinn said, "Their job was to present why [these issues] affects others and why it should be addressed by government officials…It was evident that each student was eager to strengthen and improve their projects based upon their attention and responses to us. We enjoyed seeing their passion and learning more about issues that we also value." Secondary and Special Education major Emma First reflected, "It was a great experience to watch the students present on something they were passionate about, and impressive to see the huge amount of research and effort they put into their projects. We all enjoyed our time with the students and appreciated the opportunity to work with them on something that will help them as future adults."
Dean Gillette and faculty members from the College of Education and Human Services were present at this event. They provided tours and even a celebratory dessert for the Gaudineer students in light of their hard work and dedication to service and civic participation. This collaboration further exemplifies the secondary education programs' commitment to civic engagement on local, national, and global capacities. The College of Education and Human Services wishes the students of Guadineer Middle School the best of luck as they compete in the statewide Project Citizen.