Character: Claim 3

Channel View School for Research students advocate for a better community and world.

Channel View defines advocacy as active support of causes focusing on equity, social justice, and the environment. Our students are taught that academic accomplishments alone are not enough. Students are expected to serve their community and participate in service-learning activities that support the causes they value. Upon entering the school, students are encouraged to foster their relational character skills (e.g. respect, kindness, caring, community involvement, leadership) through a myriad of actions. These actions make our students better citizens who contribute to a better world. In particular, they foster character by collaborative work in service-learning expeditions, where they share these character skills and Channel View’s core values with the community. Students introduce families and new students to the life and culture of the school, and they develop leadership and collaboration as they engage in and promote intellectual adventure in the natural world.

Channel View students exhibit their service learning by:

·        investigating the effects of climate change on coral reefs

·        researching the effects of water pollution on Jamaica Bay

·        interacting with senior citizens at various nursing homes

·        presenting choral and musical performances at various community gatherings

·        participating in various shoreline beach cleanups

·        participating in an annual walk and fundraiser for breast cancer research

·        volunteering for the Special Olympics


Channel View Students share the core values of character during their student-led tours for students and their families during Channel View’s four open houses for prospective students, and an additional two open houses for accepted students. They also share these values to members of the community during the Male and Female Summits. An annual football tournament provides another opportunity. On the second Saturday of each June, current students and returning alumni celebrate the memory of a former student and Naval Academy midshipman by participating in a tournament that begins with the recital of Channel View’s core values as embodied in its “15 Words to Live By.”

Channel View students contribute to a better world by developing and exhibiting their leadership during their experiences in the natural world. These experiences include the Vermont farm trip, the Sharpe Reservation camping trip, the Rockaway Beach cleanup, the Jamaica Bay camping trip, and the Outward Bound rock climbing experience. They also advocate for the public good by participating in various fundraisers and donating their time to help members of their community.

Channel View values public service so much that we require our students to complete service activities. By the time a Channel View student graduates middle school, he or she is required to have completed 150 hours of community service. Our high school students complete an additional 200 hours. After completing this requirement, they receive a special Community Service designation on their diploma. The effect of this regular participation in service is demonstrated by our students’ commitment to participating in service projects that occur outside of regular school hours and their desire to continue this work after graduation. In evidence sections 3 and 4, we've included student work that demonstrates this commitment.

Evidence 1: Students' Perspectives on Crew Service Projects

Students at Channel View School for Research embark on a culture of service learning as members of their Crew. All students participate in service-learning projects as part of Crew, a class that focuses on team-building activities that promote academic, emotional, and socail growth. Students share their interests and ideas for service projects with one another. Each Crew comes to a consensus about how to best serve their community and build from there. Crew leaders are there to facilitate, but the service projects are student designed and carried out.

Channel View Students Volunteer at Ronald McDonald House (Grade 10)

Crew Leader Michael Graber brought his 10th-grade Crew to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. The students participated in the “Meals from the Heart” Brunch/Dinner Program, which teaches children the importance of volunteering at a young age and helps them become capable and caring young leaders of the future. The group designed a menu, purchased all the ingredients, and cooked a brunch consisting of French Toast, BLT’s, Turkey Tacos, and Fruit Salad.

After participating in the Service-Learning Project, students wrote a brief reflection about the experience. One student reported that it “was a great opportunity for us to work together and help those in need.” Another student shared that she “felt moved.” An Exceptional Learner with a Disability commented: “This was a great experience because I was able to help families who have sick children in the hospital. Some of my responsibilities included: food preparation, including cutting fruit and making tacos, transporting supplies and goods.” He added that the experience “stuck out” and he hopes to continue to do volunteer work in 11th grade.



Crew Service Learning Project Response #1


Crew Service Learning Project Response #2


Channel View Students Volunteer at Neponsit Adult Health Care Center (Grade 12)


Channel View School for Research is a school that believes in giving back to the community. The entire school adopted a cause in their Crew classes to do something that will benefit others. Ms. Trecina Douglas, a Crew Leader at Channel View, has been taking her Crew to the Neponsit Adult Health Care Center to engage in what they call an “Intergenerational Game Day of Seniors vs. Seniors.” With the help of the Senior Activity Therapist, Ms. Beth Gutman, the patients at the Adult Care Center have engaged in everything from celebrating Black History Month and Women’s History Month to a “Carnival Session,” where the graduating seniors at Channel View play games such as bean bag tosses, Dominos, Blackjack, Spades, and a table game of a horse race. Some of the graduating seniors even shared sewing techniques they learned at school from their Home Economics teacher, Ms. Murray. 


Two weeks before graduating, one of Ms. Douglas’ students found out that his grandmother attends the Adult Care Center. This made the visits extra special. The seniors at Channel View wanted to do something meaningful and special to give back to the community and they found a group of special seniors at the Neponsit Adult Health Care Center.  


CVSR students during a visit to Neponsit Adult Health Care Center


Evidence 2: Service Connected to Learning Expeditions

Annual 6th Grade Beach Clean Up (Middle School)

Every September our new 6th graders are introduced to our STAR (Service, Trust, Accountability, and Respect) character values by participating in our annual Beach Clean Up. We volunteer to collect and record debris for the American Littoral Society’s annual New York State Beach Clean Up. This event is part of the International Coastal Clean Up. We provide our final data counts to the American Littoral Society. Our data helps the Ocean Conservancy come up with solutions to restore our oceans and protect them.

The purpose is to make students aware that they can help prevent debris from making its way to our local shorelines and into our oceans. They become aware that if trash makes it into our section of the Atlantic Ocean right here on our beaches it ends up circulating the world’s oceans since they are all inter-connected. They come to realize that they absolutely can make a difference by reducing marine debris with simple choices in their daily lives. For instance, being mindful of keeping outside trash can lids tightly sealed in order to prevent debris from getting caught up in the wind. They also learn to choose facial cleansers without micro beads to reduce the number of them that end up in a marine debris island.


The learning targets for this expedition are:

·        I can predict the type of trash I think will be most abundant on the beach.

·        I can create a data table and bar graph using our beach cleanup data gathered.  

·        I can analyze the graphical representation of data identifying the most abundant trash item.

·        I can communicate the results of the beach clean up to the American Littoral Society.


We kicked off our case study noticing and wondering about a gallery of marine debris related photos. Students shared the notes they jotted on note catchers with classmates. Students then researched the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pre and post Beach Cleanup. They learned about what the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is composed of and how it forms. Finally, they researched what marine debris is and where it comes from. Students predicted what type of trash they would find to be most the abundant and why.

On our Beach Clean Up day, students were in discovery mode; they combed the area between Beach 97th and Beach 108th streets, spotting trash, tallying items by category, and bagging everything up responsibly.

At the conclusion of the project, students were asked to engineer a solution for preventing beach litter from getting in our ocean or for removing the marine debris that is already there.

The following student data sheets contain an Exit Ticket written immediately after the Beach Cleanup experience, followed by an analysis of the data that students completed upon their return to class.

Beach Cleanup Packet #1

Beach Cleanup Packet #2

Beach Cleanup Packet #3

Beach Cleanup Packet #4


Jamaica Bay Field Study Volunteers (High School)

Each year, the Channel View Marine Biology students, in conjunction with a United States National Park Service Ranger, conduct a field investigation entitled, “What’s Alive in Jamaica Bay?” Students investigate climate change and coral reef bleaching.

The learning target for this outdoor adventure in the natural world is:

·        I can investigate whether the water quality in Jamaica bay is good for fish and other organisms to live in.


The students tested for water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels, salinity, and PH, and then analyzed the results of these four indicators to see if they were conducive to survival for five different species of fish. The students also tested the water for its turbidity and collected samples of bay plankton to analyze.

The students created charts for the four indicators that indicated areas where most fish would die and where most fish would live. They created these charts for each of the five species of fish that were analyzed. The students then presented these results to the Park Ranger.

In addition, the Marine Biology students researched the effect of climate change on the health of coral reefs. They found that warmer water temperatures can cause bleaching, or the white plaque, in coral. High ocean water causes the tissues of the coral to get rid of the algae that lives there. These algae give the coral their color and provide nutrition. This bleaching makes the coral vulnerable to disease and death. The students examined this phenomenon in many areas including the Red Sea, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and the Florida Keys. They researched the species of fish, plants, and coral in each region.

Evidence 3: Advocacy Projects Outside of School


We believe that students at Channel View continue service outside of school because they have developed into people who embody the spirit volunteerism, which they gained from being part of their Crew Service-Learning Projects. In addition to participating in service projects through Crew and other classes, Channel View students also volunteer to particpate in service projects outside of school. Their exposure to advocating for a better world at Channel View carries into their lives outside of school.

Farms for City Kids Volunteers (Grade 7)

Students at Channel View have the opportunity to volunteer for a week-long commitment to be agricultural farmers at a dairy farm in Reading, Vermont. They learn sustainable methods of living, from cheese making to planting herbs, that will be served to the next group of volunteers. Students rotate daily chores, spending time in the dairy barn brushing the cows, cleaning their stalls, and putting down fresh hay and feed for them. They were fortunate to be at the farm when calves were born, so they were able to bottle feed them. So cute, so messy! As part of the farm tradition, they got to help name the new calf.



The farm makes its own cheese and has an aging room where students apply what they learned about mold in science class while cleaning the cheese in the cheese house. They bathe the cheese in salt water to remove the mold. Prior to making their way into the cheese house, students learn about the process of getting the milk from the dairy cows to the cheese house. In the winter, our kids tap maple trees and hang covered buckets, capturing the syrup.

Annual Breast Cancer Walk (High School)


Channel View students participating in an Annual Breast Cancer Fund Raiser


After participating in Community Service during school field trips and discovering the importance of advocating for a better community and world, students have chosen to participate in additional service projects that occur outside of regular school hours. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk takes place on a Saturday in October. The walk is held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which is a 1.5 hour train ride from the Rockaways. Students gladly give up their free time on the weekend to attend this fundraiser because Channel View has taught them the value of service. One participant shared that he was happy to “go out with my friends and walking for a good cause . . . community service can be a fun experience and it inspired me to continue particpating in community service.” Another student explained that she was motivated to attend the Making Strides walk because “my English teacher had breast cancer and survived.” Her experience later influenced her decision to study breast cancer in a research class. She plans to continue to participate in the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk and seek solutions for this major health problem. Her paper focuses on the high risk of developing breast cancer in an urban environment, demonstrating her connection to her community.

Student Sample Research Paper on Breast Cancer

Evidence 4: Future Advocates for a Better World

Students graduate Channel View with a commitment to advocate for a better community and world. The following college essays demonstrate the effect the participation in Channel View Service-Learning Expeditions has had on our students and their goals.

Sample College Essay 1

This student’s participation in a March for Our Lives protest taught her the power of taking a stand. She learned that her voice matters and will continue to advocate for gun control.

Sample College Essay 2

This student’s work as a Mentor and Peer Mediator encouraged her to pursue a career in law. In addition to working with middle school students at Channel View, she also decided to join a community Youth Court. She plans to continue to help her community after graduation by working as a defense attorney who focuses on working with minors.