There are times when, looking around out campus, one cannot help but be impressed by the clear evidence of contribution that our students make on a daily basis. It really doesn't take long to see just how vested our students are. Take this past few days as an example.
On Friday SEENAH - both MS and HS - showed up in force to organize the annual Jumble Sale. By most accounts it went very well with hundreds of people visiting and a good amount both donated and purchased. They seem to have the system down as they arrive in the morning (following weeks of collection for our wonderful community) to set up, stick around to sell and support, and then, as if with surgical precision, they organize all the excess items to be donated to organizations so that they do not get thrown in landfill. Ms. Hickey was thrilled in what she described as the "most efficient" sale to date. But to make things even better, did you know that the proceeds of the event go to purchasing much needed products to create hundreds of care packages that are, later in the year, taken to those in need of such support? The essence of service learning is both in the service itself and in the learning that goes with it, and both those were successfully exemplified on that day!
On Monday, MS science students, supported by Mr. Fox, were engaged in the creation of a new learning space. Proven practices show that the distance between learning spaces and the time spent learning in them is directly proportional. So why not set up a learning space for biological/ecological study up on the 3rd floor? With the new space both MS and HS students will be able to access data and support learning related to the natural environment. Add to that the simple fact that interaction with gardens is proven to generate an appreciation for all things living, increase understanding of life systems and also increase empathy and mindfulness in students, this is surely a win-win for all!
And then there was World Food Day on October 17! The MS World Food Day flex group had been busily organizing the day and practicing facilitation of the event which highlighted the difficulties of subsistence food production and the multiple sustainability (nature, economy, society, wellbeing) elements that make eliminating world hunger a multi-dimensional problem with multidimensional solutions! End7, a HS service organization focusing on the elimination of seven key illnesses worldwide, held an engaging class competition but took the time to highlight the importance of health promotion across the world and especially in the areas where these seven illnesses are most prevalent.
If you're at home reading this please take the time to chat with your child about world hunger, about poverty, about how - apart from or in addition to the simple solution of financial support - these issues can be addressed. It is through conversations large and small that leaders are made, that learning takes place, and that contributor in all of us finds a way to look to a future with a solution mindset.
K-12 Service Learning Coordinator