Hatfield Elementary School Students are Learning about Themselves and Others.


Dear Hatfield Community,

The Hatfield Elementary School Gifted and Talented Facilitator Kara McElhone and Title One Interventionist Sarah Shapiro are collaborating on a project called “Learning About Yourself and Others Through Shared Experiences,” a continuation of the Quest Enrichment Program. This project is part of an effort to encourage students to excel through project-based learning (PBL), which allows for creativity to be valued as highly as performance in traditional academic assessments.

“Our goal is to celebrate the strengths of all of our students,” said McElhone.

The project consists of a series of activities and exposures such as guest speakers, field trips, and photo essays that will allow students to compare their experiences and values to those of people they see as different from them. Students have already gone on a field trip to UMass Amherst to see The Chinese Warriors of Peking, and in March will have another field trip to see a traditional Japanese drumming group. At the end of the project, students will have three products: an interview with someone whose life experience varies from their own, an artifact (such as a poem, jewelry sculpture, slideshow, comic book, etc.) of their choosing that reflects an aspect of who that person is, and a piece of work that reflects how learning about other people impacts how they see themselves.

“We see a specific need in Hatfield for the students to have a broader understanding of the larger world,” said McElhone. “We are fortunate to have such a rich and diverse Valley to draw from, [and] we are excited to be able to introduce our students to the larger community.”The project is being funded by a “Most Like To Succeed” grant through the Hatfield Public Schools.


John F. Robert