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

September 2016

  • Purpose: Creating a roadmap for the academic year
  • Goal: Learn about communities and service learning
  • Outcome: The students possess a clearer vision of the year ahead
  • 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.

    October 2016

  • Cause: Operation Shoebox
  • Goal: Donate candy to US troops stationed overseas
  • Candy donated: 4 laundry baskets full
  • 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!

    November 2016

  • Cause: Thank You Project
  • Goal: Conduct a Water Walk and raise pledged funds to help provide clean water for Nigerian communities
  • Gallons of water carried: 170
  • Dollars raised: $2,077
  • 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:

    December 2016

    This December, we will be conducting two service learning projects.

  • Cause: Marguerite's Place
  • Goal: Collect Christmas gifts for mothers and children in crisis
  • Gifts donated: TBA
  • 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."


  • Cause: Sole Hope
  • Goal: Collect used denim to trace and cut into shoe soles for Ugandan children
  • Soles made: TBA
  • 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

  • Cause: Heifer International
  • Goal: Conduct a hot dog sale to raise funds for the sponsorship of livestock for impoverished, rural families around the world
  • 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

  • Cause: Norris Cotton Cancer Center
  • Goal: Conduct a hot dog sale to raise funds for the sponsorship of livestock for impoverished, rural families around the world
  • 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: