Matt Marciano thought a months-long project for his students to help the community would be worthwhile and teach sixth-graders about more than what comes in textbooks.
What Marciano didn’t expect, however, was how his Change the World project would, essentially, begin to change the world.
The Long Valley Middle School social studies teacher implemented the community service project for his students four years ago and is gaining momentum statewide and in the world of educators.
On Oct. 28, Nov. 3, Dec. 2 and Dec. 8, a segment titled Classroom Closeup on NJTV (formerly NJN) will highlight Marciano and the Change the World program. Based on that program, a new publication, titled “Think Teachers Magazine” has named Marciano teacher of the month for his efforts with the Change the World program.
“It’s a real honor (to be named Teacher of the Month) as the magazine called me out of the blue after hearing about (Change the World),” Marciano said. “I’m so happy this project is spreading throughout the state, as I’d love to see more schools take part in this project to give back and help others.”
Students participating in the Change the World program go through a series of steps to carry out original proposals to give time and effort to a worthwhile cause of his or her choosing. Projects have ranged from holding soccer clinics for physically challenged students to writing books about standing up to bullying.
Marciano presented the Change the World program to the New Jersey Council for Social Studies last year and it “appears other teachers in districts across the state are interested in implementing their own version of (Chang the World),” Marciano said.
The social studies teacher was also recently asked to present the logistics of the program to a group of adults at a local church, he said.
Change the World is not just about the students and grades, of course. It’s about making a positive difference in the community and world.
“It’s my hope educators see it is never too early for students to make a positive difference in the lives of other people,” Marciano said. “It is my hope that this project will continue to spread to other schools and that other people continue to help others as a result of this project.”
The Classroom Closeup program will air on the above listed dates at 6:30a.m.,12:30 & 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 5:30 a.m.