Southampton Middle School, Bel Air, MD

Successful Student Preservationists
By Bob Rinehart


Every September we introduce to our team students our Service-Learning project to save America’s Civil War Battlefields.  Each day the students attend a 35 minute interactive presentation in our lecture hall.  The daily presentations are displayed using Power-point and the students receive handouts that they put in to a notebook.

Bob Slide Show

As the information is presented, the students begin to compile the needed details that they can use to construct a business letter, a friendly letter and posters advertising our preservation efforts.

business letter

Each business letter is graded and corrected student copies will be photocopied and sent to our state and federal representatives.  These letters contain facts concerning the threats to America’s Civil War Battlefields, reasons to save this Hallowed Ground and how the representatives can use their civic position to protect these battlefields.  Next, the friendly letters are graded and the corrected student copies will be sent to friends and family living outside of the students’ residence.  The friendly letters inform the recipient about our Service Learning Project, the threat to America’s Civil War Battlefields and why the student choose them to receive the letter.

Finally, the students create a 18” x 24” poster advertising our preservation effort for the students and staff of Southampton Middle School.  The posters are graded by the team teachers and the posters that meet all of the grade requirements are laminated and hung up around the school building.

poster1poster 3poster 2


To inform the sixth graders at Southampton Middle School with additional information, ten team 8-B students are selected by the team teachers to present a 20 minute assembly.  These students come to school ten times at 7:00am and work until 8:00am to create their group presentation.  They use Power-point to develop their presentation and create handouts for the sixth graders.  Throughout the assembly, the student presenters answer audience questions, have the sixth graders take notes and do calculations to find out how many acres of American Civil War Battlefield are destroyed every day, week, month and year.  At the end of the presentation, Mr. Rinehart has the audience thank the presenters, discusses the Service Learning aspect of the project and how the sixth graders can become involved.


Our former T-shirt contest began in November with the students of Southampton Middle School working on their entries.  The contest was completely voluntary and the participants turned in their entries to Mr. Rinehart the day before Thanksgiving break.

shirt contest 1shirt contest 2



top 5

Beginning in December the students and staff of Southampton Middle School voted for their favorite T-shirt entries during lunch.  Students from all four eighth grade teams took turns collecting money during their assigned lunch period. Every penny collected counted as a vote and at the end of December the drawings earning the most votes move on to the “ Top 5 ” finals in January.

When the voting began in January, each drawing began with a zero balance.  The entry with the most money collected during January was our winner. During the month of February, we allowed the students, parents and staff of S.M.S. to purchase T-shirts.  We would try to make at least $5.00 from the sale of each T-shirt.


front      shirt back


Applebee’s has hosted a pancake breakfast for us in April since 2010.  As part of their community service component, Applebee’s allows organizations to hold fundraisers at their locations. 

wallThe students of our academic team have designed place mats and a brochure that will inform the breakfast participants about our Service Learning Project, the American Civil War Battlefield preservation efforts of Southampton Middle School students over the last twelve years and the Civil War Trust.banner

 Students will meet people at the door, act as hosts and servers.  Adult volunteers and teachers help in the kitchen.  The restaurant can accommodate 300 patrons (from 8am – 10am) for the breakfast and we sell our tickets for $7.50 per person.  Applebee’s keeps $2.50 for each person attending the breakfast and we make $5.00 for each person attending.  If someone buys a ticket but does not attend, we keep the $7.50 for our fundraiser.  Ticket sales will take place during homeroom.  Each ticket sale will be recorded on a spreadsheet so we can keep track of who attended the breakfast.  Once the event is completed, we total all the money from the T-shirt voting / sales and the Applebee’s breakfast and print a check for the Civil War Trust.  As of June 2013, Southampton Middle School has donated $23,700 to the Civil War Trust.

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