Winfree Academy students help their community because of one well taught lesson

Learning about public works projects, Winfree Academy students check on the progress of repairs to the roadway at Skyway Circle and Story Rd.
Courtesy photo

Clarence Brooks and Joshua Mauck, social studies teachers at WinfreeAcademyCharterSchool in Irving, were teaching lessons on Industrialization during the Gilded Age. Their lesson motivated a group of students to act and fix problem that had been plaguing the community for over a year.

Brooks and Mauck wanted to demonstrate the importance of the Department of Public Works to their students, so before class the teachers filled the room with trash.

“Let’s clean this room up,” said Brooks when the students arrived. So the students and teachers cleaned up the room.

Brooks and Mauck asked their students if they enjoyed having trash around the room to which the students groaned in uniform fashion, “No.” They asked if it was easy to clean up and the students again said it was not. About this time the students began to understand what the lesson was all about. The students learned of the importance of the Department of Public works. It is not so easy to keep the cities maintained properly and the students were taking for granted the services provided by the City of Irving.

After the class, the students decided that they wanted to take the lesson one step further.

At the intersection of Skyway Circle and Story Rd. next to WinfreeAcademy, the road was damaged and heavily eroded. Students complained of the bad road conditions.

“Every day I ride my bike and try to avoid crossing the street there for fear I may damage my tires or flip over,” student Elfriede Knipp said.

The students in Brooks’ class decided to call the City of Irving Public Works Department to ask them to repair the road. Brooks walked them through the process, from looking up the contact at the City to getting an estimated completion date. The next day, the Public Works Department called to let Brooks know that crews were working on the intersection. Brooks took his students to watch the repair in action, showing how a phone call solved a year and a half old problem.

SOURCE Winfree Academy Charter Schools