Service Learning Curriculum Guide
What is service learning?
As part of our curriculum at 2nd Nature Academy, our school community participates in regular service learning projects. Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich learning experiences, engage children in civic involvement, promote responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Over the course of a school year, parent support is enlisted to assist us in preparing for these projects by purchasing items together with your child, donating to various charities, or contributing time to help coordinate and/or participate in service experiences. In order for the children to gain from these experiences, they must learn to recognize the community need and know the intended recipient of the service. Moreover, it is critical that they have active participation in service experiences and are provided time for meaningful reflection. Together, we can form truly significant and worthwhile experiences for your child and your family, our staff, and the community.
2016-2017 Service Learning Progress
As we enter a new school year, we focus on our communities curriculum units and an introduction to service learning. The middle school students begin their discussion on what causes they may wish to support and how they may go about their missions.
We concluded the month of October with a Candy for Our Troops drive, via Operation Shoebox. Operation Shoebox is a non-profit organization that collects items to ship to US military personnel stationed overseas. By sending them all of our excess Halloween candy, that would otherwise go to waste, we are able to let our troops know that we are thinking of them, supporting them, and giving them a taste of home comforts!
We kicked off November by raising money and awareness for a truly wonderful cause! Thank You Project is a local non-profit that aims to bring clean and accessible water to the people in two specific rural areas of Nigeria, Ututu and Achi. Together, the kindergarten through middle school students worked together to carry buckets of water and raise these funds.
See the Water Walk in action:
This December, we will be conducting two service learning projects.
Each year, we sponsor two families (each consisting of a single mother and her children) and our community comes together to buy them Christmas gifts they otherwise would not receive. Marguerite's Place is a local non-profit and "a transitional housing program for women and children in crisis."
Our second December service learning project will be for Sole Hope. Sole Hope is a non-profit "offering HOPE, healthier lives, and freedom from foot-related diseases through education, jobs, and medical relief." Kindergarten through middle school students will collect used denim to trace and cut out soles to be sent to this wonderful organization, which will then be made into shoes for children facing diseases contracted via bare feet in Uganda.
Annual Favorite Projects
Hotdogs for Heifer
Each spring, the upper elementary and middle school students come together to plan, budget and purchase the supplies for, and host a hot dog sale, all with the goal to raise funds for Heifer International. Heifer International is a non-profit organization with the mission "to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth." After the students tally their funds from the hotdog sale, they use that money to select livestock to sponsor for impoverished, rural families around the world, to help them embetter their quality life and contribute back to their local communities.
Watch a video of our first ever Hotdogs for Heifer sale, in 2012:
Kids 4 Kids Roll-a-thon
The Norris Cotton Cancer Center is a New Hampshire-based, comprehensive cancer center associated with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock healthcare system. Toward the end of every school year, the entire community from preschool through middle school comes together to ride, walk, or run laps on campus to raise pledged funds for children's oncology at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The older students help the younger ones, by buddying up, supporting and encouraging them, and tallying their laps.
See our 5th annual Roll-a-thon in action: