As many of you know, Millbrook offers Service Learning Government senior year as a history class. In Service Learning students learn everything that the Regular and AP Government classes learn all during the first semester. While that may sound overwhelming, it truly isn’t. All the information is generalized so that it can be taught in a short period of time. Then, second semester students go out into the community to an assigned organization or business to help them with a proposed problem by coming up with a solution. Students then present it to the Frederick County Board of Supervisors in late April or early May.
Belle Grove Historic Plantation is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. It is a manor that was built by wealthy farmer Isaac Hite and his wife Nelly Hite, the sister of James Madison, in 1797. Belle Grove Historic Plantation opened to the public in the 1920’s and serves as a place for field trips, weddings, and many other special events. Their job as an agency is to promote historical as well as geological information to the community.
The plantation and staff have recently been faced with a few issues that have become a major deal to the site. Belle Grove and its partner, the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, would like to improve their connection to local schools and play a more active role in supporting their social science and science curriculums. Belle Grove does not have the school field trip attendance that it once did and would like to understand why in order to improve it.
The job of one Service Learning group is to find out why and how to help. As the students continue to research and dig a little deeper into finding a solution, they would like to ask you to please take a survey in hopes that they may find some answers to your views on Belle Grove and field trip opportunities. Whether you have been there or not, it doesn’t matter. The plantation is such a symbolically unique piece of history that local students are lucky to have it right in our own backyard. It would be a terrible shame to not be able to have it available anymore, seeing how it stores so much important history. Please help the Service Learning class by taking the survey and supporting a local cause.
Millbrook’s Government Service Learning
Below is the link to our survey