Students Address Daylight Savings Through Service Learning

by Mary Ellen Daneels and Logan Ridenour

This past July, the Civics Is Back newsletter featured Logan Ridenour from Carlinville High School, an Illinois Democracy School, for their service learning project to end Daylight Savings in Illinois. Logan credited he Civics Is Back professional development workshops he has attended over the years, incorporating tools such as Root Cause Tree Analysis to “tweak” his Civic Action Project. Logan explained, “All of my students, including this group, have said they enjoy the project because it is very student-centered, and it allows them to explore their connections to the community and the processes necessary for enacting change. My students learned that they can put things into action by furthering their own understanding of the systems that govern their lives.” At the time, Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) took the students’ service-learning project and introduced Senate Bill 533. The students testified at the Capitol and their bill received a unanimous vote out of committee.

Logan has since joined the #CivicsInTheMiddle team as a Civics Instructional Coach to “pay forward” and share what he has learned over the years with teachers in Alexander, Clinton, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Monroe, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Union, Washington & Williamson Counties.

Logan describes his service-learning experience below and gives us an exciting update!
Last Spring my students at Carlinville High School embarked on their service learning project for the Senior Civics class. A group of students decided that they wanted to deal with the topic of Daylight Savings Time. These students put together a well-researched presentation and decided that they wanted to reach out to their state senator. Senator Andy Manar made a visit to CHS and sat down with the students. After their presentation, Sen. Manar asked the students if they wanted him to introduce their topic as a bill to be heard by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 533 went through the typical legislative process and the students were invited to Springfield to testify in front of the State Executive committee. The bill was tabled until this fall session and Tuesday, November 12, 2019, it passed the Senate floor with a 44-2 vote. I am proud of the efforts of my students. This is what service-learning looks like at its finest.
The Carlinville Service-Learning project has been featured in both local and Chicagoland news outlets. As the bill heads toward the Illinois House of Representatives, #CivicsInTheMiddle classrooms can join this service learning project by doing their own research and contacting their state legislator to share their thoughts on the bill.

What does service-learning look like in your classroom? Please comment below. Together, we can prepare ALL students for college, career and civic life.

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