LEADS ran programs at the following schools in 2009 and 2010. Click the links below, or scroll down the page, to learn more about the LEADS program ran at each local school.
Matthew J. Kuss Middle School; Fall River, MA
Edmond P. Talbot Middle School; Fall River, MA
James Madison Morton Middle School; Fall River, MA
Roosevelt Middle School; New Bedford, MA
Keith and Normandin Middle Schools; New Bedford, MA
New Bedford High School; New Bedford, MA
52 Globe Mills Avenue
Fall River, MA 02724
Matthew J. Kuss Middle School Website
LEADS students at Kuss Middle School conducted a Hunger Banquet as their end-of-semester project on the topic
of Hunger and Homelessness. Thirty-five of their peers participated in the event, learning about the realities of
hunger, not just in their neighborhood, but around the world as well. One student selected to be in the high income
group witnessed a member of the low-income group sharing a loaf of bread on the floor stated, “Seeing them makes
me want to go over and share my food with them. I now realize the impact that hunger has on people and am aware
that I need to help others.” LEADS students created pamphlets for participants to take home that included facts on
hunger and homelessness and listed organizations that folks can utilize, donate, or volunteer at. The banquet was
filmed and is being transformed into a Public Service Announcement to be shown on local cable access.
During a school resource fair at Kuss Middle School, LEADS students engaged attendees to make holiday cards for
a local nursing home. In the spring semester, Kuss students identified and created three community gardens in their
school’s courtyard. They did research ahead of time as to what vegetables, herbs, and flowers they wanted to grow.
They planted, among other things, thyme, perennials, and tomatoes. It was unanimous that this was their favorite
project because it was hands-on and engaging.
Click the following link to read speeches given by Kuss Middle School students: Kuss Middle School Speeches
Click the following link to view a powerpoint created by Talbot Middle School students about their experience with LEADS: Kuss Middle School Powerpoint
View Kuss's Wiki Page to learn more: http://leadskuss.umassd.wikispaces.net/
124 Melrose Street
Fall River, MA 02723
Edmond P. Talbot Middle School Website
The Talbot Middle School was one of two middle schools in Fall River to establish a food pantry for families
in need. The students started the Fall semester by conducting a neighborhood food drive and successfully
collected more than 150 items of food. The collected food was used to make a dozen Thanksgiving Day bags for
neighborhood families in need. There were 29 students who participated in the Hunger and Homelessness semester
of the program and their food pantry is now “Open for Business,” starting with over 800 pounds of food!
During the second semester, the focus was on sustainability and creating community gardens. Talbot Middle School
built three raised beds for their community gardens. The Fall River DPW donated soil that was sent to a laboratory
at UMASS Amherst to test the pH levels and lead content. The 25 LEADS students grew onions, annuals, and
mint. Harvested vegetables, herbs, and flowers were donated to local food banks and/or utilized by the school itself.
The students were empowered by the experience and learned the true meaning of community.
Click the following link to read speeches given by Talbot Middle School students: Talbot Middle School Speeches
Click the following link to view a powerpoint created by Talbot Middle School students about their experience with LEADS. This powerpoint was presented in front of Commonwealth Core members at a celebration at Fenway Park in Boston, MA: Talbot Middle School Powerpoint
View Talbot's Wiki Page to learn more: http://leadstalbot.umassd.wikispaces.net/
290 Rock Street
Fall River, MA 02720
James Madison Morton Middle Middle School Website
The LEADS students at the Morton Middle School identified the need for a food pantry at their school. There were
three community drives that took place; one in the Morton Middle School neighborhood, one done by MassPIRG,
and one conducted at the UMASS Dartmouth Resident Halls. They received over 1,000 pounds of food before
opening their pantry. Counselors at Morton Middle School identify families in need and with their “backpack”
program, load the backpacks with food and send it home anonymously to those who will benefit. Over 100
backpacks were donated to both Talbot and Morton by Gifts to Give and Allied Waste Management in New
Bedford. State Farm and Get Ur Good On awarded $1,500 to help expand the Talbot and Morton food pantries by
carrying toiletries and lightly worn clothing.
Morton was unable to host a community garden like Kuss and Talbot Middle Schools, but they did plant radish
seeds in cups and old dresser draws, cared for them, and transplanted them in the community gardens at Kuss
Middle School. Students expressed they have learned leadership skills in the process of establishing the food pantry
Click the following link to read speeches given by Morton Middle School students: Morton Middle School Speeches
Click the following link to view a powerpoint created by Morton Middle School students about their experience with LEADS. This powerpoint was presented in front of Commonwealth Core members at a celebration at Fenway Park in Boston, MA: Morton Middle School Powerpoint
119 Frederick Street
New Bedford, MA 02744
Roosevelt Middle School Website
LEADS partnered with another after school group for both semesters at Roosevelt Middle School’s after school
program; with both semesters revolving around the topic of Sustainability. In the first semester, students conducted
online research survey about energy conservation and created a pamphlet on sustainable practices and ways to
reduce our carbon footprint.
During the second semester, students learned the concept of gardening. We partnered with Gifts to Give, a non-
profit organization dedicated to helping families in need by distributing items like toys, books, and clothes, and used
their raised bed, tools, and seeds to grow a small variety of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. The students and corps
members in this case learned effective communication skills in order to plant a successful garden. One student put it
best when she said, “…we need to listen to everyone’s ideas and opinions.”
View Roosevelt's Wiki Page to learn more: http://leadsroosevelt.umassd.wikispaces.net/
Keith Middle School
225 Hathaway Boulevard
New Bedford, MA 02740
Keith Middle School Website
Normandin Middle School
81 Felton Street
New Bedford, MA 02745
Normandin Middle School Website
Keith and Normandin Middle Schools each worked on the same service activities and projects throughout the year.
While focusing on Hunger and Homelessness the first semester, the students made donation boxes and collected 50
items of clothing, 20 stuffed animals, and approximately a dozen books. These items were donated to Gifts to Give
and ultimately given to families in need.
During the second semester, students got an overview on how to garden, why it is important, and how it relates to
sustainability at the YMCA Farms in Dartmouth. They planted 170 bulbs in the beds at both the Y Farms and Peace
Works Gardens. The food harvested was given to the YMCA families in need in Dartmouth and New Bedford.
When asked to write about their experience at Peace Works and YMCA farms, one student wrote, “I thought all
bugs were bad for plants, but I learned that some bugs are good for pollinating and that makes them healthier. ”
Click the following link to view a powerpoint created by Keith Middle School students about their experience with LEADS: Keith Middle School Powerpoint
View Keith's Wiki Page to learn more: http://leadskeith.umassd.wikispaces.net/
Click the following link to view a powerpoint created by Normandin Middle School students about their experience with LEADS: Normandin Middle School Powerpoint
View Normandin's Wiki Page to learn more: http://leadsnormandin.umassd.wikispaces.net/
230 Hathaway Boulevard
New Bedford, MA 02740
New Bedford High School Website
New Bedford High School was the first high school that the LEADS program partnered with and proved to be very
successful. Our corps members worked with two Freshmen Seminar classes. New Bedford High students worked
with LEADS participants at Keith Middle School preparing several beds at Peace Works Gardens. They also took a
field trip to the Ocean Explorium to learn more about renewable energy policies.
The LEADS participants were most proud of their Hunger and Homelessness semester. They understood that the
other schools were focusing on hunger, and they wanted to be leaders and focus on the homelessness piece. The
students in one of the freshman classes put together a series of questions that made up a survey and talked with
Harbor House, a shelter for homeless families, for them to be disbursed. To their surprise, all sixteen surveys were
completed and turned back in. Those students then took the surveys and turned them into stories, “Life Happens:
Our Neighbor’s Stories.” In the meantime, the other freshman class conducted research on tent cities and made two
shelters out of materials such as cardboard, tape, tarps, etc.. The shelters were put on stage as a prop, while the first
class read the stories aloud in a play format. The play was filmed into a Public Service Announcement and made for
the local cable access channel.
In a reflection piece when asking what service means to them, one student replied, “Service is an act of character
and it involves helping others to improve the community and has a significant impact on the way others live. By
performing acts of services, we are able to build healthy relationships with my fellow LEADS participants and still
help the future for the better.”
View New Bedford High's Wiki Page to learn more: http://leadsnbhs.umassd.wikispaces.net/