Students participate in community service activities like book drives to refurbish another school’s library, beach clean-ups, furnishing an apartment for Upward Bound House, or Thanksgiving meal collections. In the 6th Grade service projects are student-driven, which means that members of the class break into small groups, choose to research and then to advocate for a cause that is meaningful to them.
As a result of the process students learn about the value of this kind of service, service that can speak to them individually. Teachers emphasize the importance of asking questions instead of making assumptions when it comes to meeting the needs of others. At this point students compile a needs assessment to gauge how they can best use their talents, passion, and energy to create an informed and successful project, one that will make a difference.
The research and exploration continues as students journey to Washington, D.C., where they meet with lawmakers, policy experts, NGOs, and journalists to learn more about their chosen causes and to investigate them as student journalists. The service learning experience culminates in the spring after students return from the D.C. trip, having learned even more about their chosen causes. All are motivated and eager to finalize their project ideas.